The only surprises will come to:
1) "Do-it-yourselfers" that don't understand their investments or don't do their homework (this includes investment results and financial aid impacts);
2) People who buy these products from brokers that don't understand them either.
If a thorough analysis of the investments is performed then the risk charactoristics are understood, the response to market changes can be anticipated and understood, and everyone gets what they expect.
Similarly, if families will clearly identify their needs, determine the impact of taxes and financial aid on their situation, and then select the right mix of UTMAs, 529s, and other choices, things would be better for all. Reading the posts on this board, I don't see this happening, in most cases. And the people here are probably ahead of the majority of the public.
Luckily the move to more transparency is afoot and I think will reshape the product offerings. Plans like American Funds, that are mutual fund based, will quickly capture the bulk of the advisor market, and the direct-to-customer plans will probably follow quickly behind. I think this will help all consumers.