College Savings Market:
The Increasing Dominance of 529 College Savings Plans

Recently Released!!!
Date Published: December 21, 2016
Summary PPT Deck: 50 Slides
Reference PPT Deck: 457 Slides


The purpose of this research is to provide readers with an understanding of the college savings market, with a specific focus on the 529 college saving plans market, as well as related markets, including UGMA & UTMA custodial accounts and Coverdell Educational Savings Accounts. While still relatively early in its evolution, 529 college savings plans have the potential to become to college savings what 401K plans have become to retirement savings. This research seeks to summarize the leading plan sponsors and managers, as well as make predictions for the market at large.

This research addresses a variety of key driving factors, including: 
  • Number of College Students Rising
  • State Funding Shrinking
  • Tuition Rates Rising
  • Financial Aid Becoming Increasingly Complicated
    • Grants
    • Scholarships
    • Work Study Awards
    • Student Loans
  • Financial Advisors Expanding Role

This research addresses the three historical phases of the college savings market, including: 

  • Early Phase
  • 529 College Savings Plans Introduction Phase
  • 529 College Savings Plans Maturation Phase

    This research defines four distinct market segments, including:

    • Taxable Accounts
    • UGMA & UTMA Custodial Accounts
    • Coverdell Educational Savings Accounts
    • 529 College Savings Plans & State Pre-Paid Tuition Programs

    This research makes numerous future predictions for the college savings market, including:

    • Growth in the College Savings Market, Especially 529 College Savings Plans
    • Maturation of the 529 College Savings Plans Market: Growth in National Plans, Age-Based Investment Options, ETF-Based Plans, & Direct Sold Plans
    • Emergence of 529 College Savings Plan Comparison Tools & Continuing Fee Pressure
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