College Financial Calculator

8/9/2018 by Dave Eargle

Use this calculator to determine how much you need to invest using one of three strategies (monthly, annually, or one-time up-front) in order to have sufficient funds for future expenses. Once the future expenses start, they continue regularly, and inflate annually, until the specified end time. I made this calculator to help me do what-if analyses for college expenses for children. But at this point, we're undecided about how much support we will provide. So this calculator is just for fun.

Associated blog post here.


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Check your college financial aid website. Search for something like "[school] cost of attendance." The calculator holds this amount constant within each school year, and adjusts this amount up for inflation for each new school year.
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Investment Strategies

Three different options.

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It is assumed that you continue to invest this amount at the beginning of each month through to the completion of college
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It is assumed that you continue to invest this amount at the beginning of each year through to the completion of college
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You may make an initial investment that is different than the otherwise-level investments for the 'monthly' and 'annual' investment strategies.

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A single upfront lump sum
This button uses goal seek to find the investment amounts for each of the strategies that results in a final investment value close to 0.

Cashflow tables