A parent's eternal question: How to pay for my child's education?

My first daughter won't be going to college for another 11 years, and I'm already feeling ill when I wonder how I'm going to pay for it. Not to mention my second daughter, who will be ready for college in 13 years.

So I'm always interested in learning about different ways to pay for college, and one such way that doesn't seem to be discussed that often is through college payment plans. These aren't loans but "pay as you go" plans.

It's kind of similar to the way you buy a house or a car. You make a payment every month for your kid's college education while they're in college. Given that tuition can run as high as $20,000 to $50,000 or more a year, nobody envisions payment plans as the only way you'd pay for college, but they can make up a shortfall, if you've exhausted your student loan possibilities and your 529 is as padded as possible and you have a student who has graduated from high school and rarin' to go.

I was told about payment plans by someone who works for Key Education Resources, a KeyCorp company, and naturally, the person was extremely enthusiastic. But then she works for this company, so I would expect that.