Start saving for college

Got a baby? Along with buying diapers, you might want to start putting away money for college. Higher education for an infant born today could cost you as much as $314,000, according to

This website at offers a detailed look at 529 plans, which have fast become the option of choice for parents trying to get a jump-start on college costs. The site demystifies how 529 plans work, ranks them by performance and by fees, and allows you to compare features of programs you're considering.

The website's "College Savings 101" section offers valuable tips, showing, for example, that the cost of attending an in-state public university can be less than a third of that of a private college.

Although the site focuses primarily on 529 plans, it also offers information on alternative saving programs such as the Coverdell Education Savings Account and includes a primer on financial aid options.

The site is free. There's also a $15-a-month premium service, offering more detailed 529 information, that is aimed at financial advisors.

Scott J. Wilson

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