Make sure the kids are all right
Make sure the kids are alright

The high cost of college is cutting deeply into parents' ability to pay, even in better-off families.

A new study from Sallie Mae has found that parents making $100,000 or more could afford to shoulder just 52% of college costs last year, vs. 61% in 2010-11.

Want to help your grandkids and their parents with those tuition bills? Put $50,000 in a 529 plan. The money will grow untaxed, and withdrawals are tax-free if used for education.

Here are three low-cost picks, according to, all with solid fund options:

Virginia Education Savings Trust. Funds: Vanguard, American, Franklin Templeton. Lowest fee: 0.09%.

Ohio College Advantage. Funds: Vanguard, Pimco, GE, and others. Lowest fee: 0.19%.

Utah Educational Savings Plan. Fund options: Vanguard. Lowest fee: 0.18%.

  @Money - Last updated September 25 2012 11:24 AM ET
Join the Conversation
What to do with $1,000 now!

Don't let the shaky economy stress you out. A grand can still improve your career prospects, lower investment risk, make your home safer and more.

Find Homes for sale
  • Property Type
  • Find a home in:
    New York | Atlanta | Chicago | Los Angeles
    Washington D.C | Houston | Philadelphia | More options
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.