When parents are considering which 529 plans to distribute funds from, it's important to know the total amount that's available. Sometimes parents don't know about accounts opened by grandparents, aunts or uncles, he says.
Ask family members about open 529 accounts before the child's first year of college.
College funding is a continual planning process that involves assessing and reassessing educational funding needs, says Thomas. Evaluate annually how to manage 529 contributions and withdrawals based on scholarships awarded, each child's goals and the earnings on each account.
Trying to save for college? Get tips and more in the U.S. News College Savings 101 center.