TW63, no, I can't tell you with hard facts what tuition increases will be in the future or exactly what they have been. I DO know that they have been running ahead of inflation and some have said about double the inflation rate. I was part of the ORIGINAL baby boom, born in 1960. I can remember tuition increases each year ('78 to '82) running in the double digits at Penn State where I went. Of course, we were in an era where EVERYTHING had inflation, different from today's disinflationary or even deflationary era.
Contrary to my earlier post, I will honestly tell you that I did remember reading that after the "echo boom" peaks in 2008, they expect it to be more of a buyer's market. So for YOUR kids, academic competition might not be as tough as for my daughter going in 2008. And tuition increases should moderate after that as well. NEvertheless, you will still be subject to tuition increases that will compound during this "echo boom" period. In other words, it's unlikely that tuition will GO BACK to pre-echo levels...we both know things don't work that way in service industries.
Your kids ARE very small so doing SOME equity risk MIGHT make some sense here. Then again, the PA plan is great for ANY level (you asked about the various college levels) and you DO live in Pa and can benefit from this plan. And with kids so close on age you will probably get some financial aid with multiple kids in college, unless you are very well heeled.
Thanks for posting. I sometimes feel like a lone ship in the sea here with all the ga-ga over the stock market, even with the current downturn.