Succeed at college planning using these tools

As a parent, you dream of a bright future for your children. Part of that dream includes seeing your loved ones graduate—without a lot of debt.

The prospect of paying college bills may feel overwhelming, and that's completely understandable. Luckily, however, you have a powerful savings option like the NY529 Direct Plan. Plus, you can use the free online planning resources available on NY529 Direct Plan website @ to help ypu reach your goal. 

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See how much college could cost
How much will college cost when your kids are ready to attend? Use the calculator under “How much could college cost in the future? to estimate future costs for both public and private schools.   

Learn how much you need to save
This tool “How much do I need to save” estimates how much you may need to invest each month. If you can't save the recommended amount right now, don't be discouraged. Just save what you can. Remember, every dollar you save is one less you will have to potentially borrow down the road!

Invest wisely
Many 529 plans offer simplified investment selections based on whether you're a conservative, moderate, or aggressive investor. These portfolios automatically adjust their holdings based on your child's age. That means they invest more in stocks (which have higher risk but higher return potential) when a child is young and shift more money to lower-risk bonds and cash (like a money market account) later on.

  • If you're not sure which type of investor you are, find out here.
  • If you already know which type of investor you are and/or you prefer to create your own mix of investments, choose Option 2—Select your temperament from this asset allocation resource titled “Find the right asset mix” to determine an appropriate option based on your child's age.

Calculate short-term tax savings
If you are a New York state taxpayer, don't forget your tax savings each year. Since you've chosen a 529 plan that allows you to deduct your contributions, you can calculate those state income tax savings based on your annual contributions to the plan.*

Use these resources regularly to stay on track
Planning for a major expense like education takes years, so bookmark these resources for future use. In the months and years ahead, they may help as you work to make those college dreams a reality.

Contributions of up to $10,000 are deductible annually from New York State taxable income for married couples filing jointly; single taxpayers can deduct up to $5,000 annually. New York State tax deductions may be subject to recapture in certain circumstances such as rollovers to another state's 529 plan, nonqualified withdrawals, or withdrawals used to pay elementary or secondary school tuition, registered apprenticeship program expenses, or qualified education loan repayments as described in the Disclosure Booklet and Tuition Savings Agreement. State tax benefits for non-resident New York taxpayers may vary. Please consult your tax advisor about your particular situation.

You must make a contribution before the end of a given calendar year for it to be deductible for that calendar year. If you send your contribution by U.S. mail and it's postmarked on or before December 31, we'll treat your contribution as having been made in the year in which it was sent.

Investment returns are not guaranteed, and you could lose money by investing in the Direct Plan.

For more information about New York's 529 College Savings Program Direct Plan, obtain a Disclosure Booklet and Tuition Savings Agreement at or by calling 877-NYSAVES (877-697-2837). This document includes investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other information. You should read and consider them carefully before investing.

* Before you invest, consider whether your or the beneficiary's home state offers any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in that state's 529 plan. Other state benefits may include financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors. This tool isn't intended to constitute, nor does it constitute, tax advice. You should consult your own tax advisor for more information on the tax implications of investing in a 529 plan based on your own particular circumstances.

Bond funds are subject to the risk that an issuer will fail to make payments on time, and that bond prices will decline because of rising interest rates or negative perceptions of an issuer's ability to make payments. Investments in bonds are subject to interest rate, credit, and inflation risk.

The Comptroller of the State of New York and the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation are the Program Administrators and are responsible for implementing and administering the Direct Plan.

Ascensus Broker Dealer Services, LLC, serves as Program Manager and, in connection with its affiliates, provides recordkeeping and administrative support services and is responsible for day-to-day operations of the Direct Plan. The Vanguard Group, Inc., serves as the Investment Manager. Vanguard Marketing Corporation provides marketing and distribution services to the Direct Plan.

No guarantee: None of the State of New York, its agencies, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), The Vanguard Group, Inc., Ascensus Broker Dealer Services, LLC, nor any of their applicable affiliates insures accounts or guarantees the principal deposited therein or any investment returns on any account or investment portfolio. New York's 529 College Savings Program currently includes two separate 529 plans. The Direct Plan is sold directly by the Program. You may also participate in the Advisor-Guided Plan, which is sold exclusively through financial advisors and has different investment options and higher fees and expenses as well as financial advisor compensation.