Saving early can make a big difference over time.

Everyone’s financial situation and needs are different. But there’s one thing that’s true for all — the sooner you can start saving, even a small amount, the better. Every penny counts. In fact, a study conducted by the Center for Social Development found that kids who have a college savings account (even a small one) are 2.5 times more likely to enroll in and graduate from college than children without one.

You only need $25 to open an Oregon College Savings Plan account, so that’s an easy first step. Beyond how much is personally contributed, the growth of your Oregon College Savings Plan account also has to do with your investment choices and their performance (otherwise known as their annual rate of return) over time.

Annual rates of return on investment portfolios can vary every year. But, for the sake of simplifying things, let’s assume your investments have a constant 5% annual rate of return. Using this hypothetical example, you can see how making even a small monthly investment can grow over time.

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Investments with an assumed 5% annual rate of return*

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Not sure how much college will cost?

Use this handy college cost calculator to get an idea.

How much risk are you comfortable taking when investing?

Everyone’s threshold is different. Take this risk tolerance quiz to get a sense of where you stand.