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 SavingforCollege.com, 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
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