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%.
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.