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Monthly contributions begin on the last day of the same month that the calculator is run and continue uninterrupted through the month before the last college payment is made. Ongoing monthly contributions are made on the last day of every month. Since the last college expense falls in July for any given year, the last monthly contribution takes place in June of the same year.
Annual contributions begin on the last day of the same year (December 31) that the calculator is run and continue uninterrupted through the year-end before the last college payment is made. Since the last college expense falls in July for any given year, the last annual contribution takes place in December of the preceding year.
Contributions are made at the end of the month or year and therefore do not factor into the investment gains for that period.
Current annual college costs increase at the annual rate of college inflation to determine projected college costs.
College payments begin in January of the same year that the student begins college. During the college years, annual college costs are split equally between a January and July payment. Payments are deducted from the savings balance at the beginning of the month before the monthly investment growth is calculated. The calculator makes the last college payment in July before the final school year begins.
Increase to Ongoing Contributions
An increase may be made to the monthly or annual contribution at a specified time in the future. The contribution amount will increase once on the start date specified and remain at the increased amount for the remainder of the illustration.
Savings grow at the hypothetical annual growth rate through January 1 of the last year of college.
In a deficit situation, the calculator provides the rate of savings (monthly or annual contribution amount) that, if applied, would have led to projected savings equaling the projected college costs (or portion of costs the user plans to fund).
In a deficit situation where a one-time contribution increase has been elected, the calculator provides the increased monthly or annual contribution amount that, if applied, would have led to projected savings equaling the projected college costs (or portion of costs the user plans to fund).