College savings in 529 plans hit record high. Find out how the numbers break down.

The flip side: America's top schools have some of the highest tuition costs

Sep 9, 2014 @ 11:05 am

By Liz Skinner

The amount Americans are setting aside to pay for college is on the rise so far in 2014, with assets in Section 529 college savings plans reaching a record $244 billion at the end June, according to data released Tuesday by the College Savings Plans Network. Assets in the plans increased 7.7% over the past six months, or about 4.8% when contributions and distributions from the plans are discounted, the new data show.

American Funds continues to top the list of 529 program managers just by overseeing the nation's largest plan, Virginia's CollegeAmerica plan, which has $47.8 billion in assets, according to a separate report out Tuesday from Strategic Insight. Five program managers oversee about 63% of the assets in all 529 plans, its report found.

Meanwhile, the latestUS News & World Report list of “best” universities and colleges suggests parents of students at these schools are going to need a lot more than an average 529 plan to cover tuition.

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