In Maryland, there are 2 options available for parents to prepare for the high price of secondary education in the future. Plan 1 - Prepay ~ 20k, and be guaranteed this covers all tuitions and fees for a 4 yr state university (i.e. - Univ of Maryland). The payments can be lump sum, 5 yr or 10 yr plans. If you desire to attend a non-state school, you will receive an average $ amount of current state school tuition. Plan 2 - Put money in a TRowePrice savings planned sanctioned by the MD State Govt that will grow tax-free, then distributed tax-free. You can pick various funds to invest in, similar to a 401k. This is good for just about any college in the US. Return is dependant on the performance of these funds. Both plans have similar tax benefits (2500.00/yr deduction on state taxes) and penalties (10% + you pay income tax on the benefit if your kid ditches school to become a gypsy). Of course my wife likes Plan 1 because it's guaranteed to pay no matter what the market, but I like Plan 2 because of the school choice. Anyone else facing such a quandry ?