For a newborn today, the cost of attending a four-year state school in 18 years will cost about $180,000.
“The average family cannot put that money away unless they are really working at it,” said Mourdock, who wants to discourage the attitude from some parents that say there is no way they could save that much so why even try.
“It’s much easier to save money than it is to borrow,” Mourdock said. “It’s better to earn interest than pay interest.”
The most popular savings plan option is CollegeChoice Direct, which allows people to set up the account on their own. Another feature automatically selects the investment portfolio based on the child’s age at the time the account is set up. The investments are riskier the younger the child but become more conservative as child gets closer to enrolling in college.
“Each year it will keep self-adjusting, so there is less and less risk,” Mourdock said.
This year, CollegeChoice executive director Jodi Golden is focusing on employers setting up automatic payroll deduction for the savings plans. She said establishing the process is simple and costs the company nothing.
“We continue to visit and encourage employers across the state, whether they have two employees or 2000 employees, to offer this free benefit as part of their existing benefits package,” Golden said.
Golden believes offering the deduction shows employees their company care about the welfare of their employees’ families and their future education expenses.
Any employer wanting to get this set up or employee who wants to encourage the company they work for to set up the deduction can go to www.indianas529.com or call 317-232-5259. Currently, there are about 225 employers participating in the program.
• Kevin Lilly is news editor of the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5117 or email@example.com.