Annual Survey Suggests Confusion Over College Savings Options May Delay Action

The results from’s 2014 Annual College Savings Survey reveal that 70% of respondents have not yet started preparing to meet the future cost of college, despite indicating a strong interest in building up their savings. Survey findings signal a greater opportunity for the industry to continue their education efforts and promotion of 529 plans as beneficial savings tools to parents and grandparents. Annual Survey Suggests Confusion Over College Savings Options May Delay Action
Pittsford, NY, March 19, 2014 --('s newly-released College Savings Survey indicates that while many families have a strong interest in preparing financially for the future cost of college, 70% of those surveyed had not yet actually begun to save. Over half (53%) of non-savers cite lack of time to research and understand their options as a major impediment, while 40% point to lack of money., a leading independent college savings resource and authority on 529 plans, administered the survey to over 2,400 website visitors, shedding light on the college savings behavior of parents and grandparents in the United States. Particular emphasis was placed on usage of and beliefs concerning 529 plans.

Among families that had opened 529 plans, the majority were happy with their decision, and 64% indicated a high degree of confidence in their current 529 plan. When selecting a 529 plan, administrative fees were the most important factor, followed in order by whether the plan was from their own state, and the investment options offered. The survey also revealed that most families felt comfortable investing on their own without the use of a financial advisor. Those who used an advisor did so primarily because they were already working with the advisor for other financial needs.

The study found that misconceptions of the rules surrounding 529 plans were common, especially among respondents who did not have a 529 plan. Even some of the parents and grandparents already using 529 plans were unclear about the impact of 529 plans on financial aid eligibility and the rules for taking distributions from a 529 account.

“The prevalence of certain misconceptions was a little surprising,” says founder Joseph Hurley. “The findings suggest a continuing need for 529 plans to provide education and guidance on all aspects of their use.”

The Annual College Savings Survey was administered online by between January 17 and February 24, 2014. 2450 respondents completed the survey. For more information or to download the comprehensive PDF report, visit
Saving For College LLC
Marie Osypian