February 28, 2023

The College Savings Plans Network (CSPN) is pleased to provide account owners, state 529 plans, and corporate affiliates with national statistics on how Americans are saving in 529 accounts. With the market volatility of the last year, the assets under management for 529 plans across the country has dropped slightly from $412.5 billion in June 2022 to $411.2 billion at the end of the 2022. 

With each update, we continue to see more accounts opened. As of Dec. 31, 2022, there were more than 16 million 529 accounts open in state plans across the country. That is more than 340,000 more accounts than the previous year. While the invested funds have fluctuated with the market, it is encouraging to see the value of 529s ringing true. 

The network continues to see steady growth in accounts as 38% of accounts are auto funded either by payroll deduction or direct deposit. This is critical to the longevity of 529 accounts and the amount of money that is saved for the beneficiary. If you have a 529 account, you can sign up for auto-funding features. It is an easy way to save each paycheck! Contact your 529 program to get more information; usually it is a simple form to your payroll/benefits department. 

The average accounts balance as of December 2022 was $25,630. When CSPN first collected data CSPN in 2009, that number was $13,188. According to the Education Data Initiative’s statistics released in October 2022, the average cost for an American to attend a four-year public university is $102,828. Being a quarter of the way to paying a four-year university bill is a major step for Americans paying for higher education! 

Each dollar saved is better than a dollar borrowed. CSPN and 529 plan administrators have been saying that for over 20 years, and the rationale remains today. While it can be discouraging to see market volatility when looking at an investment account, play the long game with your education savings. Just like education is an investment into a future career, so is the money being saved today!