Assets in the tax-advantaged college savings vehicles known as 529 plans fell 21% in 2008, to $88.5 billion, according to Financial Research Corp. But average tuition costs are rising by 5% or more a year. "The losses underscore the need to make sure you have the appropriate asset allocation for the age of your child," says savingforcollege.com founder Joe Hurley. Check the stats in the charts, or collegesavings.org, to see if your 529 makes the grade.
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