What is a ‘qualified higher education expense’ for 529 college savings plans? – December 20, 2023

This generous new rule for leftover 529 money can help enhance your child’s security later in life – December 18, 2023

College Student Discounts – Learn about discounts for college students at Amazon, Nike, New Balance, Adidas, Reebok, Samsung, Apple, Microsoft, Muji, Mattress Firm, Peacock Premium, Hulu, Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Pandora, DoorDash, and HelloFresh

7 ways to encourage Black kids to save for college and favorite activities – October 29, 2023

How to Report 529 College Savings Plans on the FAFSA – October 18, 2023

Understanding Financial Aid for College: A GuideFinancial aid is any form of funding that helps a student pay for college, such as a Pell Grant, loan or merit-based scholarship. October 18, 2023

Back to School: Why Returning to College Could Be Your Best Retirement Move? – September 7, 2023

Consumer Reports: Unlocking the benefits of 529 college savings plan – September 6, 2023

The new 529 rollover to Roth IRA – July 26, 2023

Recent Updates Cement 529 Plans As Top Choice For College Savings

Pros and cons of prepaid tuition plans – June 9, 2023

How Parents And Grandparents Can Use 529 Plans to Save for Education – June 9, 2023

New college savings option – May 29, 2023

What is a 529 plan? How you can score a tax break while saving for future college expenses – May 29, 2023

Expert shares creative way to fund your child’s 529 plan – May 1, 2023

4 Strategies for Avoiding Taking on Too Much Student Debt in College – May 1, 2023

How a 529 Plan Can Help You Pay for College During Volatile Economic Times – May 1, 2023

Stop Student Loan Debt Before It Starts: 5 Tips To Minimize Costs Before College – April 27, 2023

9 benefits of a 529 plan – April 27, 2023

‘We grew up poor and financially ignorant’: My children are 14 and 16. Is it too late to save for their college education? – April 18, 2023

Here Are a Financial Advisor’s 4 Most Important Money Tips for Parents With Young Kids – March 24, 2023

The Best Ways To Save Money For Kids – March 24, 2023

Can a college savings account change a child’s trajectory? – March 19, 2023

529 College Savings Plans Reach Record Amid Student Loan Forgiveness Debate – March 3, 2023

Some States Open College Savings Accounts for Every Newborn – February 22, 2023

4 Tips to Refresh Your 529 College Savings Plan After Stock Market Losses – February 16, 2023

What’s the best way to save for education? A 529 plan or I bonds?– February 5, 2023

When It Comes To Saving For College: Keep Calm And Calculate Net Costs – January 23, 2023

529 Plans Even Better Now – January 23, 2023

Paying for higher education: Focus on one step at a time – January 19, 2023


The floodgates are open for grandparents to super-size college savings for grandkids – November 14, 2022

What You Need to Know Before Gifting a 529 Plan – November 12, 2022

How will this 529 plan affect my grandchild’s financial aid for college? – November 7, 2022

College 529 Savings Plans: What You Need to Know – October 26, 2022

College 529 Savings Plans: How to Get the Most Out of Them – October 26, 2022

529 Plan Contribution Deadlines Coming Soon in Many States – October 27, 2022

Reap The Recently-Created Estate Planning Advantages Of 529 Plans – October 27, 2022

The biggest misconceptions about using 529 plans to save for college – October 12, 2022

What to Know About the 529 Grandparent Loophole – October 5, 2022

Grandparents Can Use 529 College Saver Plans for Grandkids Without Hurting Financial Aid – September 22, 2022

U.S. prepaid college savings plans shine as inflation soars – September 12, 2022

What college students need to know about doing their taxes – August 17, 2022

How Can I Withdraw Money From My 529 College Savings Plan Without Penalty? – August 11, 2022

How grandparents can help grandchildren with college costs – August 2, 2022

Advisors Should Encourage Clients to Open 529 Plans. Here’s Why.– August 1, 2022

Here’s advice for how to ensure withdrawals from 529 college-savings plans are tax-free – August1, 2022

Investing in 529 Plans for Education and Estate Planning – July 11, 2022

Student loan borrowers may regret not taking these 3 steps before payments restart – July 3, 2022

What Is a 529 College Savings Plan? – June 30, 2022 – You can get big tax benefits when you save for education costs with these accounts

College tuition bills are coming. Here are 3 ways to navigate them and give your 529 balance time to recover – June 17, 2022

What to do with a 529 college savings plan if student debt is forgiven – June 9, 2022

Can you use a 529 to pay student loans? – April 27, 2022 – 529 plan holders can use up to $10,000 tax-free toward their student loan debt.

How Much Are 529 Plans’ Tax Benefits Worth? – April 25, 2022 – The tax benefits of 529 education savings plans, though complicated, are worth knowing.

How to read your financial aid award letter and understand the true cost of your dream school – March 30, 2022

Here’s how to get education tax credits if you used a 529 plan – March 25, 2022

What to Expect When Paying for College in 2022 – March 21, 2022

5 Tax Credits That Can Save Parents Big Money – March 18, 2022

Save for college and your retirement? You can do both – here’s how – March 14, 2022

How To Use A 529 Plan For Student Loan Repayment – March 8, 2022

Compare 529 Plans By State – March 4, 2022

When should you start saving for your child’s college? Yes, when they’re still in diapers – February 28, 2022

That unspent money in our child’s college savings plan: What can we do with it? – January 21, 2022


How to Help All Families Save for College – December 10, 2021

The Gift-Tax Benefits of ‘529’ Plans – December 4, 2021 – Contributions to these state-sponsored education plans are considered gifts for tax purposes, up to a certain amount

Why Every Parent Should Consider a 529 Plan – November 17, 2021

Saving for college: the pros and cons of 529 savings plans, prepaid plans and how to decide – November 10, 2021

Grandparent 529 Plans Get A Boost From New FAFSA Form – October 29, 2021

Saving for College? Everything You Need to Know About 529 Plans – October 22, 2021

Questions and answers about 529 accounts – October 22, 2021

How to Make 529 Plan Contributions as a Gift – October 21, 2021

Weighing the tax breaks vs. plan options: How to pick the best 529 college savings plan – October 8, 2021

When Should Parents Start Saving For College? – October 4, 2021

Does a 529 Plan Affect Financial Aid? – September 30, 2021


7 Benefits You Didn’t Know About 529 College Savings Plans (But Should)– July 15, 2021

Consider these tax moves before paying for college – July 7, 2021

Can I avoid the 529 plan withdrawal penalty? – June 10, 2021

Ask Carrie: How Much Should You Save for Your Kids’ College? – June 7, 2021

What You Should Know About ‘529’ Education-Savings Accounts – June 6, 2021

How to Plan Financially for College if Your Teen is in High School – June 3, 2021

College savings tips: Why you need a 529 plan – May 29, 2021

6 Things You Need To Know About 529 Plans – May 24, 2021

Here’s the average student debt balance of borrowers 25 to 34 years old – May 23, 2021

State 529 Education Account Winning American Families’ Pandemic Savings – May 3, 2021

How to Find the Right Scholarship for Every Occasion – April 22, 2021

How To Understand Financial Aid Award Letters – April 20, 2021

Searching for a better way to save for grad school led me to the tax-advantaged 529 plan that’s mostly used by parents – March 27, 2021

Can I use a 529 plan to study abroad? – March 27, 2021

Can your 529 savings plan be used for graduate school? – March 26, 2021

Grandparent Owned 529 Plans: What You Need to Know – March 15, 2021

Can You Get a 529 Plan Tax Deduction? – March 9, 2021

Here’s How Much of Your Income Should Go Toward Student Loans Each Month – February 25, 2021

529 Plan Tips for Grandparents to Save for College – February 24, 2021 – Before grandparents open a 529 plan for their grandchild, consider the financial aid and tax implications.

How Much Should You Save For Your Child’s College Education? – February 16, 2021

Everything Teens and College Students Need to Know About Filing Taxes This Year – February 11, 2021

College Ahead: How Can I Improve My Child’s Chances for Financial Aid? – February 3, 2021

The Cost of College Can Be a Mystery. Here’s How to Ask the Right Questions – January 25, 2021 – The problem isn’t that college costs too much — it’s that we often have no idea what we’re paying for.

Financing Options to Pay for College – January 13, 2021 – If you are worried about paying for college, several flexible financing options are available. Picking and choosing the right ones for you can help you afford a degree with greater peace of mind.

What are the best college-savings investments? 5 ways to grow your money for the ever-higher costs of higher education – January 12, 2021 – The price of higher education seems to get higher every day.


Can You Use Your 529 Plan for More Than College? – December 28, 2020 – If you’re one of the growing number of people choosing to not enroll in college, you might be wondering about alternative options for spending your 529 fund.

How to Create a 529 Plan Before Your Kids Are Even Born – November 22, 2020 – Saving for education can help minimize future student loan debt. Money you save now can grow and have huge benefits for your children down the road.

9 Mistakes to Avoid When Applying for Federal Financial Aid – October 26, 2020 – More than $120 billion in federal aid is given out each year to help families pay for college. Your only shot at a piece of that pie is by filling out the FAFSA — the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Complete Guide To A Hassle-Free FAFSA Renewal – Ocotber 9, 2020 – Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step you’ll take to qualify for federal and state financial aid, as well as college scholarships and grants at most schools.

5 Benefits of Federal Student Loans Over Private Loans – September 21, 2020 – Some of the benefits of federal student loans include access to income-driven repayment options and student loan forgiveness programs.

An Education in 529 Plan Ownership – September 9, 2020 – If you are investing in Section 529 college savings plans for your children or possibly for grandchildren, you may accumulate large sums in such accounts. If so, these assets deserve careful estate planning.

Tips on Spending the Money in College Savings Accounts – September 4, 2020 – Funds in 529 plans grow tax free and can be withdrawn tax free if they’re spent on eligible education expenses. But there is some fine print.

What Happens If Your College Campus Closes Again This Fall? – September 1, 2020 – With Covid-19 still running its course and fall slowly approaching, colleges continue to tweak (and tweak again) their reopening plans.

Investing for College Costs in a Pandemic – August 15, 2020 – Saving for college has always been a challenge, especially since college costs increase much faster than inflation.

Back to School Is Different This Year so Reassess Your Financial Habits – August 6, 2020 – From a personal finance perspective, I’ve been giving thought to how we can make “different” better this fall. Here are four ideas to do just that.

College & COVID: Use This Time To Optimize Your 529 Plan – August 5, 2020 – Individuals pursuing post-secondary degrees were significantly affected, as most universities, colleges, and trade schools transitioned to virtual learning early in the pandemic and many institutions plan to continue online instruction for the upcoming academic year.

What Is Cost Of Attendance? – July 31, 2020 – Cost of attendance is the annual sticker price on enrollment at a university or college for an academic year—including living expenses.

Saving for college during the coronavirus pandemic: What you need to know about 529 plans – July 30, 2020 – It’s easy to put off saving for college, especially during a pandemic. Financial uncertainty may have you concerned, or you are just trying to get by day-to-day.

What Students and Families Need to Know About How Student Loans Work – July 30, 2020 – Do your homework on student loans.

How To Apply For Financial Aid Using The FAFSA – June 30, 2020 – While the cost of college has risen steadily, there are many federal, state and college-specific financial aid programs that can make higher education more affordable. In order to make yourself eligible for them, you must fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.

12 Tax Deductions and Credits That Help You Pay for College – June 12, 2020

If you have a student loan, here’s what happens when the Fed lowers rates – May 29, 2020 – If you borrowed money to attend college, you most likely won’t feel any impact when the Federal Reserve cuts interest rates.

Michelle Singletary: Here’s what you should know about 529 plans – May 17, 2020 – The COVID-19 pandemic has made financial planning for higher education even harder.

How to Avoid Paying Extra Taxes on Your College Refund – May 11, 2020 – 529 withdrawal rules may cause you to pay extra if you’re not careful.

I have leftover money in my child’s 529 college savings account — what can I do with it? – May 9, 2020

The 529 plans Americans can use to save for college are more flexible than they’ve ever been — and you can use them for student loans – May 1, 2020

The Dangers Of Using A 529 Plan For Student Loan Debt – February 3, 2020 – Thanks to the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement (SECURE) Act that was signed into law on December 20, 2019, families with 529 college savings plans now have more options when it comes to using these funds.

Pennsylvania program gives new parents cash for kids’ college education – February 2, 2020 – Under the new college savings program, families register for a $100 starter gift to a Pennsylvania 529 account for every child born or adopted in the state to jumpstart their college savings. A number of U.S. states have similar programs that aim to cut down on soaring student debt.

Can a trust own a 529 plan for a grandchild? – January 28, 2020 – I have a living trust. If I fund a 529 for a grandchild with the trust as owner, are there any differences than if had I bought it as a grandfather?

What’s the best way to save for my nephew’s college? – January 27, 2020 – You can accomplish your goal by opening a 529 plan with you as the custodian and your nephew as the beneficiary

Kids & Money: SECURE Act could help with college saving – January 11, 2020 – Congress left families dealing with college savings issues a nice parting gift in the waning days of 2019.

New Law Expands Uses for 529 College Savings Accounts – January 10, 2020 – Under the Secure Act, approved in December, up to $10,000 can be used to repay student loans. The law also allows 529 funds to be used for apprenticeships.


What’s A Qualified Higher Education Expense? – November 4, 2019 – What is considered a “qualified higher education expense,” or QHEE, for a 529 withdrawal has changed over the years.

10 Tax Benefits That College Students Can GetOctober 15, 2019 – There is a plethora of tax deductions and credits available for students as well as the recent graduates.

11 Common FAFSA® Mistakes – October 1, 2019 – The 2020–21 FAFSA® will be available October 1! If you plan to attend college between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021, you should fill out your FAFSA form as soon as possible! Just make sure you don’t make one of these common mistakes:

How to pick the best 529 plan – October 1, 2019 – American families are missing an estimated benefit of $237 billion for future educational savings because they’re not using 529 college savings plans effectively, according to an October 2018 report from Morningstar.

How to use up leftover money in a 529 college savings plan – September 18, 2019 – Despite the burgeoning cost of higher education these days, you might still find yourself with unspent money in a 529 plan after your child has graduated from college.

How To Save For Your Kid’s College Education – September 11, 2019 – Saving for your kids’ college education isn’t easy, but you can probably save a lot more than you think. Here are seven important things to know to start squirreling away and investing money in a smart way, including how to save in a 529 investment plan.

What college expenses are qualified and other need-to-know facts – August 9, 2019 – As parents and children prepare for the fall semester of college, one of the most frequently asked questions we get is about college 529 funds — specifically, what that money can be spent on.

Back-to-school tax benefits – August 8, 2019 – Back-to-school season is here. Families with students moving into college dorms and apartments this fall should take note that there are still tax credits …

529 Savings Plan Investor Tips – August 7, 2019 – Saving for education is an important goal for many families. FINRA offers these eight tips to help you make smart 529 savings plan choices:

I want to help pay for my grandsons’ college. What’s the best strategy? – August 6, 2019 – Q. I am helping to pay for college for my grandsons. Which is the best for me tax-wise: sending checks to the college, depositing the funds in 529 plans or giving the money directly to the students or their parents?

How to Use a Grandparent’s 529 Account to Reimburse College Expenses – July 23, 2019 – Through timely withdrawals and good recordkeeping, a grandparent’s 529 college-savings plan can help families recoup money spent on college.

College bills coming due? Here are some smart tips before you pay – July 1, 2019 – With the cost of college rising each year, we did the math to see if it’s possible for students to pay their own way through school.

Four ways to get the most out of your 529 college savings plan – May 29, 2019 – Tax-favored 529 savings plans allow families to manage the cost of higher education, yet few people understand how they operate.

How to open a 529 college savings plan – May 22, 2019 – With total student loan debt in the U.S. pushing past $1.5 trillion, millions of parents may be left scratching their heads over how to fund their children’s academic future.

529 Plans Aren’t Just for Kids – May 9, 2019 – Can I use money tax-free from a 529 college-savings plan to pay for continuing education?

How To Negotiate Your Student Loan Refinancing Interest Rate – May 8, 2019 – Student loan refinancing can be a great way to lower your monthly payments and the amount of interest you pay over the life of your student loan.

How to Help Your Kids Prepare for College — Without Student Loans – April 25, 2019 – College grads are burdened with more student debt than ever before. Sixty-nine percent of 2018 graduates took out student loans to help cover the bill, and their average debt came in at $29,800.

Keeping the Cost of College Down – April 22, 2019 – Between the high costs of tuition, living expenses, meal plans and textbooks, it is easy to see why college students are increasingly stressed about their finances.

5 Things to Know When Evaluating a Financial Aid Offer – April 15, 2019 – April is National Financial Capability Month and understanding the terms of your financial aid offer and making smart decisions about paying for college can be a good indicator of your financial capability.

Get a Head Start on College Savings – April 4, 2019 – It’s a daunting prospect. In 18 years, attending an in-state public college for four years will likely cost a total of about $233,000.

How middle-class families could get more financial aid for college – April 4, 2019 – … in many other households right now, there are parents fretting about the not-nearly-enough financial-aid packages their children have received.

How to Ask for More College Financial Aid – March 22, 2019 – If the offer falls short, here’s how to boost your chance of getting more

DANIEL TIGER HAS A COLLEGE SAVINGS PLAN – March 12, 2019 – Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is focused on preschool, but it’s never too early to think about college.

5 Savvy College-Saving Habits – March 12, 2019 – Here are five ways you can increase what you save for college.

How to report college savings withdrawals on tax returns – March 6, 2019 – Q: I’ll be doing my grandson’s taxes this year. He goes to college and worked last summer earning a salary. His mom withdrew funds from his 529 savings account and from a Coverdell account for education expenses. Do I show these two funds on his return or his mom’s return? — Grandpa

State 529 Consortium Launches Education Assault On Student Debt – March 5, 2019 – The 529 industry is collaborating to educate future students and their families about the benefits of investing for a higher education using a 529 plan.

Managing Market Volatility When College Bills Are Imminent – March 1, 2019 – Today’s market volatility can be nerve-racking for families who are paying for college or will soon be. A nasty correction can turn $10,000 in college savings invested in the market into $6,000 or $7,000 in the course of a year

10 ways to cut those steep college costs – February 28, 2019 – The average tuition, fees, room and board for an in-state public institution (without financial aid) last year topped out at $20,790, according to the College Board’s latest report (source).

Parent And Student Money Strategies For College – February 28, 2019 – Sending your child to college is a big step for both the student and the parent. Beyond the education and lifestyle changes, there will inevitably be money challenges that come with going to college.

How a Move Can Change Your 529 Plan Tax Deduction – February 26, 2019 – The tax deduction you get for contributing to your state’s 529 plan can disappear if you move to another state.

This hidden factor could raise the cost of saving for college – February 5, 2019 – If a financial advisor is working with you to help you save for Junior’s education, be sure to ask if your college savings plan is appropriate for your child’s time horizon.


The Most Important Thing To Do With Your 529 Before Year-End – December 4, 2018 – Like it or not, the end of the year is approaching fast. While you may be focused on the holidays, don’t let the season go by and leave money on the table.

9 tips to find free money for college – December 3, 2018 – While bargain hunters will be spending the next few weeks searching for mega holiday shopping deals, savvy higher education shoppers have been on the prowl for their own deals: free money for college.

Rethinking the First Two Years of Higher Education – November 13, 2018 – The first two years of college are often treated like something you just have to get through. Even the term “general education,” as the curriculum is called at that point, feels generic—and almost like a commodity.

37% of Parents Are Making This Smart College Savings Move  – November 7, 2018 – An early start pays off later on. With college costs continuing to climb, it’s more crucial for you to start saving as early as possible.

How to Use a 529 to Pay for Private School Tuition – November 1, 2018. Tax reform allows parents to withdraw up to $10,000 per year for private K-12 education.

Sending multiple kids to college? Plan strategically to cut costs – October 30, 2018 – Wondering how you’ll make ends meet while trying to send your kids to college?

How to recognize and avoid college scholarships scams – October 30, 2018 – Average college costs have doubled in the last two decades, and this financial pressure along with new technologies makes today’s students particularly vulnerable to financial aid and scholarship scams.

How to fund college if you didn’t save enough – October 9, 2018 – If college tuition bills are looming and you don’t have nearly enough saved, you have plenty of company. But you also have options for making it more affordable.

3 ways to protect your kids’ college savings if the market falls – October 6, 2018 – The record run for stocks – along with ongoing trade and election jitters – has some parents on edge about college nest eggs.

College 529 savings plan balances hit an all-time high – September 25, 2018 – Total investments in 529 plans reached a record this year, according to the College Savings Plans Network. Still, only a fraction of families are taking advantage of this college savings tool as tuition costs continue to climb.

Paying for College: How to Include Your Child in the Process – September 20, 2018

The basics of a 529 savings plan (and why every parent should have one) – September 18, 2018 – Investing in a 529 Savings Plan can be a great way to save for college-related expenses.

What to Do With a 529 Plan If Your Kid Doesn’t Go to College – September 15, 2018 – There are smart options for using those savings that won’t incur a tax bill

How to protect your college savings from market swings – September 13, 2018 – When it comes to paying for college, every carefully saved penny counts. Yet, putting money away is only the first step. Protecting those dollars through market ups and downs is equally important.

Retirement, 529 accounts would be expanded under new GOP tax plan – September 6, 2018 – House Republicans are moving closer to introducing tax legislation that would make changes to savings accounts that Americans rely on for retirement, education and more.

Saving for college: How grandparents can help without hurting financial aid – September 5, 2018 – Question: I read your article about helping grandkids with college. I kept wanting to ask: Yes, but don’t all these things – a Coverdell education savings account, a 529 plan, …

31 Ways to Save Money in College – September 4, 2018 – Saving money while in college may be easier than you think, as long as you’re creative and diligent about stashing cash away.

7 Reasons To Have A Separate 529 Plan For Each Child – September 4, 2018 – Parents should start saving as early as possible to get the maximum benefit from their 529 college savings plan. That means enrolling in a 529 plan when their first child is born, or even sooner.

Education Planning: A Look at the Numbers – September 1, 2018 – According to the College Board’s pricing trends for the 2017–2018 academic year (the latest data available), the cost at both public and private universities is continuing to rise:

College Savings Plans Are The Antidote To Student Loan Debt – August 31, 2018 – Student loan debt has reached a shocking milestone, with more than 44 million Americans owing more than $1.5 trillion in federal and private student loan debt.

Five Key 529 Savings Plan Considerations In The Post-Tax-Reform Landscape – August 30, 2018 – Traditionally, 529 plans have been used as tax-advantaged vehicles to save for higher education.

Parents, students need to get real about paying for school – August 28, 2018 – Now that students are back in school, it’s time for parents (and grandparents) to take a breath and gain some perspective on the costs and benefits of a college education. Yes, college will pay off in the long run.

Help, I Forgot to Save for College! – August 22, 2018 – How to pay for higher education when you don’t have much time to plan

Back to School: What You Need to Know about College 529 Savings Plans – August 21, 2018 – Do you know how much you’re able to contribute or what the funds could be used to pay for? How about how contributing affects your taxes? Check out the nitty-gritty details of this formidable college savings tool.

The 411 on 529s – August 15, 2018 – It’s back-to-school time and let’s face it — education can be expensive.

Oops, not saving enough for your kid’s college? It’s not too late – August 8, 2018 – If your child’s college search process has sneaked up on you and you realize you may not have as much saved up as you would have liked by this point, don’t panic.

Junior’s not going to college? What you can do about your 529 plan – August 8, 2018 – The best-laid plans of college savers can go awry. No big deal. There are options, should the original reason you started saving in a 529 plan disappear.

Are you prepared for the rising cost of higher education? – July 16, 2018 – f the most meaningful gifts a child can receive, the price tag can be overwhelming. It currently costs, on average, $188,000 for tuition, fees, room and board, for a four-year private college.

529 Savings Plan Assets Swell to a Record $319 Billion – May 24, 2018 – Assets in 529 savings plans and prepaid tuition plans climbed to record levels in 2017. According to the College Savings Plans Network (CSPN), 529 plan assets grew 16% from the prior year to $319.1 billion as of year-end 2017, while the number of accounts rose 3% to 13.3 million.

Record $319 Billion Stashed in U.S. College 529 Savings Plans – May 24, 2018 – Americans are stashing away cash for college. A record 13.3 million families took advantage of Internal Revenue Service section 529 tax-advantaged savings plans for educational expenses last year — an increase of 3 percent over 2016, according to the College Savings Plans Network in Lexington, Kentucky.

Rules have changed on using 529 plans to fund education – May 21, 2018 – No longer limited to college funding, 529 plans can now be applied for private elementary and secondary education. While this addition sounds like a good idea, it does introduce some new complexities.

Guide to Private Student Loans – May 16, 2018 – When grants, scholarships, and federal aid aren’t enough, you can usually turn to private student loans.

A New Day for 529 Plans: Federal Tax Reforms Lead to New Possibilities for These Education Savings Accounts – March 12, 2018 – Do you have a 529 college savings plan? Have you thought about opening a 529 plan account? If the answer to either question is “yes,” you should know about two major changes that broaden the possibilities for 529 plans.

What to Do With Leftover Money in a 529 College-Savings Plan – March 2, 2018 –  There’s no time limit for spending money in a 529 college-savings plan, so leftover dollars in an account can be used by other family members now or by a new generation in the future.

Most Parents Are Saving for College This Way — and They’re Doing It Wrong – March 2, 2018 – Given that college costs seem to be going nowhere but up, a growing number of families are taking steps to set aside funds to cover their children’s expenses.

You can now use a 529 to pay for K-12 tuition — so should you? – February 28, 2018 – Among the changes in the tax overhaul passed by Congress in December was a provision allowing parents to use money saved in a 529 plan to pay for private school tuition for kindergarten through 12th grade .

Family finances: New tax law gives you more ways to use a 529 college savings plan – February 28, 2018 – Under the new tax law, families now have more ways to use a 529 college savings plan, which may also change the way they invest money in this account.

Using 529 funds to pay for private school? Check new rules – January 24, 2018 – Uncle Sam has given families the green light to use $10,000 per child each year to pay for private schools out of 529 savings plans, but parents cannot count on states to give them the same tax break.

‘Wait and see’ before using 529s for private school tuition – January 23, 2018 – While the federal tax overhaul made withdrawals for K-12 tuition tax free, 529 plans are administered by states. And not every state law automatically complies with the new rules. That means families could be hit with a bigger-than-expected state tax bill if they jump the gun.

529 Plans No Longer Just for College Savings – January 19, 2018 – Under the new tax law, families and grandparents with children in private and religious schools will now be able to use savings plans that previously were reserved for college costs to help pay for the kids’ K-12 education.


Parents Are Drastically Low-Balling The Sticker Price Of College – October 31, 2017 – Saving for college is reaching an all-time high, with 72 percent of families putting money aside to help fund their children’s educations.

Proposed Tax Changes Could Make 529s More Flexible – October 17, 2017 – Some proposed changes to tax legislation were recently introduced that could make 529 accounts more flexible. These changes could also help make college saving easier and more affordable for low- and middle-income households.

4 Times Millennial Parents Should Consider A 529 Plan – October 11, 2017 – In today’s world, where the price of a bachelor’s degree can rival that of a single-family home, having a 529 college savings plan can offer young parents peace of mind.

Affordability Is Families’ No.1 Concern Regarding College – October 10, 2017 – Containing college costs and streamlining financial aid must be at the forefront of the nation’s higher education agenda, University of North Carolina system president Margaret Spellings

College affordability is a family affair – October 2, 2017 – Do you have $100,000 saved for your child to earn a four-year public college degree or as much as $200,000 for that same student to attend a private university? Paying for the high cost of college is a major burden facing many families across the country.

There’s a tool that could slash college tuition — here’s exactly how to use it – October 2, 2017 – If you’re planning to go to college next fall, the time to apply for financial aid is fast approaching. You’ll want to move quickly because there are changes to the process that could make competition stiffer for financial aid funds.

4 Ways To Net More Financial Aid – October 2, 2017 – The way college financial aid is determined in this country is all wrong. You shouldn’t have to jump through multiple hoops and fill out forms to qualify.

Congress has a chance to make saving for college a lot easier – September 28, 2017 – As back to school season, September is marked by heightened attention to education. To further this mindset, The College Savings Plans Network also recognizes September as college savings month to highlight the importance of saving for higher education expenses.

A Deeper Dive into 529 College Plans – August 25, 2017 – If you’re confused about the difference between 529 college savings plans and prepaid tuition plans and all their ins and outs, you’re not alone. But here’s some help.

12 Surprising Ways to Get More College Financial Aid – August 22, 2017 – The cost of college has risen so high that even middle and higher-income parents may qualify for some financial aid.

4 Things You Can Do With Excess 529 Plan Funds – August 21, 2017 – As the use of 529 plans has proliferated, however, more people are facing a situation where a portion of the balance may not be needed for college.

Teens’ Income, Savings and Financial Aid – August 9, 2017 – Many families need their high schoolers to contribute to steep college bills. They also worry student earnings will affect potential financial aid

College on the cheap: How to keep education costs down – August 8, 2017 – As children get close to graduating from high school, parents and students find themselves asking how much does college cost?

College costs are soaring — 6 things parents need to know about 529 tax deductions – August 3, 2017 – As a parent, I want to help my kids get the best start in life by investing in their education.

Budgeting tips for college students and their parents – August 3, 2017 – College is a big step into the future for any student — and it comes with a hefty price tag.

Try a Checklist to Avoid FAFSA Mistakes – July 26, 2017 – When Evelyn Lee was applying to colleges as a high school senior, she knew that she would need financial aid to be able to afford to go.

Don’t Fall For These 6 Myths About College Savings – July 26, 2017 – Most families don’t understand the true cost of college until their child is a high school senior, and many simply hope for scholarships.

What You Need to Know About Saving for College – July 16, 2017 – When it comes to financing a college education, the complex web of savings plans and strategies can seem lie a big tangle.

Which State’s ‘529’ Should You Pick? – July 9, 2017 – How can I determine which state’s 529 plan is right for me? Every state offers a 529 plan, which allows investors (typically the parents) to contribute after-tax money that will grow tax-free and can be withdrawn later without any federal taxes or penalties when it’s used for qualified higher-education expenses like tuition, room and board, or a computer.

Debunking the Myths of 529 Plans for College Savers – June 2017 – Like saving for retirement, you can never start too early on saving for college. Take a quick true-and-false quiz to see if you grasp the power of 529 plans.

What to Know About Reimbursements From 529 Plans – June 28, 2017 – You can withdraw money tax-free for tuition, required books and fees, and even a computer and related software.

How many college savings buckets do you need? – June 27, 2017 – Like many financially savvy parents, Jim Stehr started a college savings account for his son at birth. When Stehr’s second and third children came along, he opened accounts for them too.

6 Financial Aid Questions You’re Too Embarrassed to Ask – June 22, 2017 – Here are six basic, but crucial, things to know about using student loans, scholarships and more to pay for college.

Parents, do you have the best 529 college savings plan? (Yes, you can choose.) – June 19, 2017 – Parents may be able to accumulate more money to pay for college by investing in an out-of-state 529 plan. Yet many don’t even know it’s possible.

How should I save for my kid’s college education? – June 8, 2017 – I am 29 years old and a single mother to a four-year-old. I contribute 6% to my 401(k) with a company match. I looked at several websites and they all state I’m on track for my retirement. My question is, should I put some extra money in a Roth IRA or fund a 529 plan for my daughter?

Helping students avoid the trap of college costs – June 7, 2017

Five Common Mistakes People Make When Paying for College – June 4, 2017 – As the school year ends, summer vacation offers parents and students alike the opportunity to focus on what may be their most dreaded subject: paying for college.

How This Woman Refinanced Her Student Loans In 4 Steps – June 3, 2017 – When journalist Kassondra Cloos graduated from Elon University in 2013, she couldn’t believe how much her student loan balance had grown.

Debunking 5 myths about 529 college savings plans – June 1, 2017 – Even though it’s been around for 21 years, many people still don’t know what a 529 plan is.

529 plans: Simply the best way to save for college – May, 2017 – Every family with young children should have a 529 college savings plan, even if they can only save a small amount every month.

Budgeting for College Students: Where to Start – May, 2017 – College marks a significant transition period for many young adults — it’s a time of newfound freedom and the financial responsibilities that come with it.

Time to Renew the Spotlight on 529 Plans – May 22, 2017 – With the average cost of a year at public universities exceeding $25,000, students and parents alike struggle with how to pay for an education.

Five reasons to consider a 529 college plan – May 20, 2017 – As graduation season approaches, the rising cost of a college education becomes more top of mind for many parents.

Student Debt Is Eating Your Household Budget – May 18, 2017 – Student debt has more than tripled as a share of total debt owed by U.S. households in less than 15 years, new data show.

May 29 means it’s time to plan kids’ college savings – May 14, 2017 – I will go out on a limb and assume that May 29 — 529 College Savings Day — is not marked on your calendar. But if you’re a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, maybe it should be.

A Plan and a Dream: How One Student is Saving Her Way to College – May 12, 2017 – Even in middle school, Wilson Vogt knew she would go to college; she dreamed about following in her big sister Bailey’s footsteps.

How To Save For College With Multiple Children – May 8, 2017 – If you’re like me, you want your kids to be able to get the best possible education at the school of their choice (which is hopefully the same as my choice for them).

Q. Can 529s be used for trade schools? A. Yes they can — as long as the trade school qualifies.

10 hidden benefits of 529 plans – May 5, 2017 – While most people are catching on to the appeal of 529 plans, which offer tax-advantaged investments to pay for qualified education expenses, many still overlook a number of benefits these accounts provide.

How to save for college and manage student loan debt – May 3, 2017 – In May, Laura Hinsch will graduate with a degree in molecular and cellular biology and a minor in Latin American studies from Johns Hopkins University. She will also graduate with about $70,000 in student loan debt.

How my daughter managed to finish college debt-free – May 2, 2017 – By May 1, high school students nationwide will decide where to go to college and, for many, with that decision will come debt. In the classes we teach, my husband and I try to encourage parents, if they can, to start saving for their children’s college education as early as possible.

Learn When to Decline a Student Loan – April 26, 2017 – When Kevin Lilly was in one of his last semesters at Lasell College in Massachusetts, he realized he had taken more student loan money than he needed.

Two Minute Money: Save for college with 529 plans – April 25, 2017 – Student loan debt in the United States has surpassed $1.4 trillion—and shows no signs of letting up, especially with colleges getting more and more expensive.

4 Great Financial Tips for New Grandparents – April 25, 2017 – If you’ve recently received the news that your child is expecting, and you’re going to be a grandparent, you’re probably feeling some sense of relief along with joy. You can have the fun of having a baby in the family, without losing a lot of sleep or spending a small fortune on diapers and baby formula.

How a Scholarship Affects Your 529 College-Savings Account – April 21, 2017 – You can withdraw up to the amount of a scholarship from your 529 account without paying a penalty on the earnings, even if you don’t use the money for eligible college costs.

Does it pay to start at a community college? It depends April 20, 2017 – Readers continue to write to us with questions about financing college, including how best to use “529” plans, the tax-advantaged higher-education accounts that invest in mutual funds. We asked experts to help answer this month’s questions.

Use the ‘2K rule’ to save for your kid’s college education – April 20. 2017 – Saving for your child’s college education can seem like an impossible goal. Unlike with retirement savings, few clear guidelines exist.

How to pay for college – April 12, 2017 – As the college acceptance letters arrive, students are thrilled. However, while parents and grandparents are proud, they may also feel a little anxious about footing the bill for what they know is an important credential in today’s labor force.

How to Fix 6 College Funding Mishaps – April 7, 2017 – When it comes to college planning, all parents need to take a deep breath and exhale. It’s difficult to budget for a major expense and help your child transition into adulthood at the same time.

The bogus reasons you’re not saving enough for college – April 4, 2017 – Dragging your feet on saving for your kid’s college? Or worse, haven’t even started? As you probably know, college can cost a small fortune.

Parents: Here’s a primer for college savings – March 23, 2017 – Parents looking to plan for their children’s college costs may need to go back to school themselves to choose among the potential options for saving money.

These Lawmakers Want to Make College Savings a Big Employee Perk – March 22, 2017 – There are 13 million college savings accounts in this country, and more than half received at least one deposit in 2016. Those are decent numbers, and growing—but they cover just a tiny fraction of the country’s college-bound population.

529 plan assets record 8.6% gain in 2016 – March 21, 2017 – Total assets invested in 529 plans reached $275.1 billion as of Dec. 31, an increase of 8.6% over the previous year, according to a report from the College Savings Plans Network.

Giving It the College Try: 5 Things Every Family Should Know About 529 Plans – March 14, 2017 – It seems like every day brings more bad news about rising college tuitions and mounting student loan debt.

Drilling down into a college financial aid offer – March 13, 2017 – If only choosing a college were as easy as picking a ripe fruit or vegetable. It’s complicated — and often agonizing — because of the financial aid offers that come along with acceptance packages.

Last Minute Tax Breaks For College Savings – March 3, 2017 – College savings and tax time can go hand in hand, especially in the seven states with tax day deadlines for contributions to 529 plans.

529 College Savings Plans for the Unborn – March 2017 – If “compounding returns” are the Eighth Wonder of the World, then the more time to compound the better!

3 Great Ways to Save for Your Child’s Future – February 22, 2017 – When you’re spending heavily to cover your kids’ present needs–from diapers to clothing to music lessons–it easy to lose sight of saving for their future needs.

Putting College Savings On Autopilot Yields The Best Result – February 20, 2017 – Research published this month by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reports that student loan debt hit a record $1.31 trillion in 2016, with a $31 billion increase in the fourth quarter alone.

7 Creative Ways You Can Save for Your Children’s Tuition – February 20, 2017 – Hopefully, you’re keeping all of your New Year’s resolutions. If one of your goals happens to be saving for your kids’ college tuition, check out these tips for working it into your budget.

How to Manage a 529 Plan for Your Child’s Education – February 10, 2017 – Saving money in a 529 plan offers families a way to put cash away for college and save on taxes as well.

Saving for college? Start early and tell Congress to support this bill. – February 8, 2017 – As a father, I understand the coveted gift all parents dream of giving their children: debtless college educations.

Three big ideas to make it easier to save for college – February 3, 2017 – Surveys regularly find that Americans have no idea what a 529 college savings plan is, so a little tinkering under the hood is definitely needed.

Giving It The College Try: 5 Things Every Family Should Know About 529 Plans – February 1, 2017 – It seems like every day brings more bad news about rising college tuitions and mounting student loan debt. The average student loan debt for new college grads now exceeds $37,000, according to, a college and scholarship-information web site.

Can I use ‘529’ college money overseas? – January 26, 2017 – January is a good time to think about saving for college. Here, with help from experts, we once again answer readers’ questions about methods of financing college, including “529” college-savings plans.

How Grandparents Can Help Grandchildren with College Costs – January 19, 2017 – As the cost of a college education continues to climb, many grandparents are stepping in to help.

House Bill Would Let Students Pay Off Loans With 529 Plans – January 18, 2017 – The legislation also would encourage companies to help employees save for college or for disability care via tax incentives.

Getting Started With a 529 College Savings Plan – January 18, 2017 – If setting up a college savings account is on your to-do list for 2017, here are some tips for getting going.

House bill seeks improvements to 529 college savings plans – January 17, 2017 – A bipartisan bill has been introduced in the House to make it easier to save money in 529 college savings plans and accounts aimed at helping families with special needs children.

4 Ways To Avoid The 529 Penalty Box – January 10, 2017 – There may come a time when you need the money in a 529 account for a purpose other than higher education expenses.

Help your kid graduate college debt-free – January 8, 2017 – Today, most parents are saving money for their children’s college education – 72% of them, according to a study by Fidelity Investments.

Can I Use ‘529’ College Money Overseas? – January 8, 2017 – January is a good time to think about saving for college. Here, with help from experts, we once again answer readers’ questions about methods of financing college, including “529” college-savings plans.

A Simple Way To Help Your College-Bound Student Ace Personal Finance – January 3, 2017 – It’s normally this time of year that first year undergraduates start to realize that their finances are a mess.

When should I start saving for my kid’s college? How to choose and understand 529 plans – January 3, 2017 – Is the child born? You should be saving for college. Even if they aren’t born yet, you could still be saving — but that’s for over-achievers.


4 Ways to Give the Gift of College Savings – December 4, 2016 – Every December, for the past 10 years, Lloyd Gurley has put money into his two grandsons’ college savings accounts.

3 keys for finding the best 529 college savings plan – December 5, 2016 – Recently, I recommended 529 college savings plans as perfect gifts that keep on giving. Now I’d like to offer a vetting process you can use to find the best plan for your family.

4 important things to know about 529 College Savings Plan withdrawals – December 5, 2016 – Tax-favored Section 529 college savings plans (sometimes called qualified tuition programs) have been around long enough that many folks are now taking withdrawals.

Giving the gift of financial well-being at the holidays – November 29, 2016 – Instead of the latest toy or gadget, some people are trying to give their loved ones more financial security this holiday season.

5 reasons to gift a college saving plan contribution – November 28, 2016 – For years, I can remember getting holiday and birthday gifts I didn’t ask for and certainly didn’t need.

New Parents: Save Money (And Sleep Better) With These 5 Tips – November 15, 2016 – If you’re a new parent, you’ll probably have some sleepless nights. But worrying about how you’ll pay for the next package of diapers or college tuition shouldn’t be the reason.

Holiday gift idea: Fund a 529 college savings plan – November 11, 2016 – he best gift of all is a good education. So before you start shopping for holiday gifts for your children or grandchildren, consider opening a 529 college savings plan account.

Take 5 Steps to Reach a College Savings Goal – November 9, 2016 – Maureen Spain and her husband feel the pull of competing financial priorities. They want to save for college for their three children – ages 2, 5 and 7 – but they also have child care costs, retirement accounts to fill and are still paying off Spain’s graduate school loans.

The Opening Bell 11-7-16: The Gift of A College Education – On November 7, 2016 we welcomed back Steve Grzanich and he talked with Young Boozer (Treasurer of the College Savings Plans Network) about the gift off a college education.

Strategies for leftover 529 plan money – November 2, 2016 – Q. My son graduated from college last year and we had money left in his 529 plan. We expect our daughter to get a full scholarship, so we’re not sure she will need the money, plus, she has her own 529 plan. What can we do? — Dad

How to Find a Great 529 Plan to Pay for College – November 2, 2016 – Options await investors who want to reduce federal taxes and pay college expenses.

How to select the correct 529 college savings plan –  October 31, 2016 – Finding the best way to save for college can be daunting. States offer 86 tax-advantaged 529 college savings plans and more are on the way.

6 Tips To Lower The Cost Of College – October 26, 2016 – It’s no secret that college costs are rising faster than the overall rate of inflation, placing an ever-increasing financial burden on college students and their families.

Index Funds Offer College Savings Options – October 19, 2016 – When Will Worthwine started putting money away in a 529 plan, a college savings account with tax advantages, his daughter was a freshman in high school.

More Parents Are Saving for College — but Still Falling Short – October 15, 2016 – It’s hard to leave college debt-free these days. Americans now owe a collective $1.3 trillion in student loans, with the average 2016 graduate racking up over $37,000 in debt.

Plan Not to Borrow for College – October 12, 2016 – What if you didn’t have to borrow money for college? It’s a very reasonable question. And it’s possible if you are willing to start planning early.

Can You Use the ‘529’ Money for Grad School? – October 9, 2016 – When planning for college expenses, tax-advantaged “529” accounts have been a popular savings tool. But readers are often unsure about the details.

3 Things to Know Before Cashing Out College Savings – October 5, 2016 – More than 40 percent of parents think that the money in a 529 college savings account is lost if it’s not used for college, according to a T. Rowe Price Family Financial Trade-Offs Survey.

What Can You Spend Your 529 Savings On? – October 2, 2016 – 529 plans offer families a huge incentive to pay for college, since earnings in the account grow tax-free and are generally not taxed when funds are withdrawn.

Americans Are Saving More for College, but Making This Big Mistake – September 29, 2016 – new report from Sallie Mae finds that more parents are saving for college this year (57 percent) than last year (48 percent), and they’re saving an average of about $6,000 more, for a total of $16,380.

3 Questions to Ask About Age-Based 529 Plan Investments – September 28, 2016 – When it comes to saving for college, many families are attracted to the way they can put their investments on autopilot in an age-based 529 portfolio.

How To Pay For Multiple Kids In College, All At Once – September 24, 2016 – Paying for one child’s college education is costly enough. What if you have two or more in the groves of academe, at the same time?

How to Pay for College With Less Stress – September 23, 2016 – In this our quadrennial season of financial hope, we might wish that the major presidential candidates would reckon with one of the large and looming numbers in our lives.

Tap Grandma and Grandpa for help with college bills – September 15, 2016 – It’s time to pass the hat on college savings. While 39 percent of high-net-worth grandparents are chipping in for college, more of them could assist …

A how-to for putting your 529 college savings to work – September 13, 2016 – If you’ve spent years saving for college in a 529, you deserve a hearty congratulations for a job well done.

One college bets big on 529 college savings – August 29, 2016 – Every dollar saved for college reduces the amount you’ll need to borrow — and at one college, those savings will soon net extra scholarship money.

What to do with leftover college savings plan cash – August 10, 2016 – Melissa Byers and Rich Rauh began stashing away money in 529 college savings accounts for their sons not long after they were born.

How To Extract More Mileage From A 529 College Savings Account – August 4, 2016 – Bonanzas and booby traps: Plenty of both await you in the complex world of 529s. Needlessly complex, since the concept is simple. You set aside savings for college costs, and the earnings (per section 529 of the tax code) escape tax.

Handling 529 college savings plan in divorce – July 12, 2016 – The cost of a college education is stratospheric. But when divorcing parents have established a 529 savings account to offset those constantly escalating costs, the implications during the divorce — and after it — are often ignored, especially when matriculation seems far removed.

How you can avoid college debt: a basic guide – July 5, 2016 – I’ve always seen college debt as an albatross — a heavy, expired bird that becomes a financial burden over time.

What to Do When Your 529 Has Too Much Money – July 4, 2016 – Readers again wrote in with questions about saving for college, including strategies for using “529” college-savings plans, those popular tax-advantaged investment accounts that help many families pay for sky-high college tuitions. We asked financial experts to help answer the readers’ questions.

7 Common Misconceptions About 529 College Savings Plans – June 28, 2016 – Summertime ushers in lazy weekends at the beach, backyard barbecues and vacations to visit grandparents.

How to Transfer Money Between 529 College-Savings Accounts – June 28, 2016 – I have multiple grandchildren, each with a 529 college-savings account. My oldest grandson is about to start college in the fall, and I’d like to transfer some money from another grandchild’s account into his.

Six Ways to Improve ‘529’ College Plans – June 4, 2016 – It was 20 years ago that Congress legislated “529” plans, tax-advantaged programs to encourage families to save for college.

Need a laptop for college? Look at your 529 plan – May 11, 2016 – Targeting how you’ll spend the cash in your 529 plan can be tricky if you want to guarantee a tax-free withdrawal from a plan. Such as when can you use that money to buy a computer?

Parents: Here’s The Scoop on Financial Aid – May 10, 2016 – Financial aid is an elusive topic that far too many people fail to understand. I’m a graduate of a public university, I hold a bachelor’s degree and an MBA, and I still can’t wrap my head around many aspects of the financial aid process.

Can My ‘529’ Be Used for Off-Campus Housing? – May8, 2016 – This is the month for most college graduations—a joyous occasion for many but also a reminder for some parents of younger children that the burden of college costs is looming.

You Didn’t Put Money Away for Your Kid’s College Fund. Now What? – April 19, 2016 – They grow up so fast. Too fast. That realization can come crashing down as kids approach college age, and there’s no money (or nowhere near enough) in a savings account or a 529 plan.

How To Reap The Most College Aid – April 18, 2016 – If qualifying for financial aid was a simple matter, they’d have an app for it and anybody could do it on their mobile device.

5 College Savings Mistakes New Parents Make – April 13, 2016 – Saving enough for the projected cost of college can seem like a towering mountain to climb, especially for new parents.

How to win at getting college financial aid – April 8, 2016 – Want to boost your chances for college financial aid? Start early — as in, before your child’s sophomore year of high school.

Do Students Get Special Tax Breaks? – April 8, 2016 – Being a college student in the United States is getting more and more expensive every year. However, the good news is there are several tax benefits available to college students, and some are pretty valuable.

4 Surprising Places to Use 529 Plan College Savings – April 6, 2016 – College savings plans with tax benefits, called 529 plans, aren’t just for the traditional, four-year college experience at a U.S. university.

College Financial-Aid Offers: What Families Need to Know – April 5, 2016 – As students’ college-acceptance letters arrive, their financial-aid award letters usually aren’t far behind.

College Planning Tips for Each Stage of Your Child’s Life – April 5, 2016 – “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” This quote, attributed to Benjamin Franklin, makes me think of the way many families approach paying for college.

Best Tax Breaks for College Students and Parents – April 4, 2016 – An array of federal tax breaks awaits you if you qualify for them based on your family income. They include the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC), the lifetime learning credit (LLC), and several types of tax deductions.

What to Do When Scholarships Complicate 529 College Savings – April 1, 2016 – My daughter will be graduating from college in May. Because she received a scholarship, I still have some money left in our 529 college-savings account. Can I withdraw an amount equal to the scholarship without paying taxes or a penalty?

Make Your 529 College Savings Portfolio Perform Better, Longer – March 30, 2016 – With over $250 billion in 529 college savings plans nationwide, these popular accounts hold the assets and dreams of many hard-working parents who are saving today to pay for their child’s college education tomorrow.

Options for extra 529 college savings – March 29, 2016 – My kids are done with college and I’m lucky – they got scholarships and went to schools that were less expensive than I thought they would be. We have $57,000 split between two 529 Plans. What are the options for that money?

6 Common Misconceptions About 529s – March 28, 2016 – With student debt close to $1.4 trillion and more students than ever not only aspiring to attend college but needing a college degree to meet the growing requirements of the workplace, having an accurate understanding of the options like 529 plans that are out there for saving for college is more important now than ever.

As College Savings Plans Evolve, Families Have Options – March 23, 2016 – When Stephen Foxley opened a college savings account through the Utah Educational Savings Plan a few months ago for his 1-year-old son, he was carrying on a relatively new family tradition.

If You Want to Send Your Kid to College in 10 Years, Do These 6 Things Now – March 23, 2016 – You know you were supposed to start saving for college when your child was born. But maybe you didn’t.

Strategies to Maximize College Savings and Financial Aid – March 18, 2016 – Paying for college is a significant concern for many families. Federal financial aid may be a deciding factor in where a student goes to college, even for families who have been diligently saving.

Americans Are Saving More Than Ever for College – and the Numbers May Surprise You – March 16, 2016 – Assets in 529 college savings plans increased by more than $5 billion in 2015 to hit a record $253.2 billion. The total number of accounts grew 3.6 percent to 12.5 million.

College savings plans are growing in popularity, and value, report says – March 15, 2016 – Families are socking away more money in 529 college savings plans than ever, investing a record $253 billion last year in preparation for the sky-high cost of higher education, according to a report released Tuesday by the College Savings Plans Network.

Americans Are Saving More Than Ever for College – March 15, 2016 – Up $100 billion in a decade. In case you haven’t tuned in to a presidential debate in the last six months, here’s a news flash: People are increasingly alarmed about the rising cost of higher education in America.

Growing List of States Offering Free Money for 529 College Savings Plans – February 25, 2016 – Massachusetts Treasurer, Deb Goldberg, recently announced a new state-run college savings program that would take saving for college to every kindergartener in the state.

Balance Risk, Reward by Diversifying College Savings – February 24, 2016 – Mixing conservative and aggressive investments in 529 plans could help families tackle soaring college costs.

Ways to Pay for Your Child’s College, No Matter When You Start Saving – February 24, 2016 – Many parents would say saving for their children’s college education is pretty high on their list of priorities, and yet they don’t have a savings plan in place.

The smart way to save for college with a 529 plan – February 23, 2016 – Many parents and grandparents love “529” accounts to save for college. But like anything involving money and taxes, not everyone uses them in the most efficient way.

5 Costly 529 College Savings Plan Mistakes – February 17, 2016 – In part because of the tax breaks they offer, 529 college savings plans have become a popular way to set money aside for one of the biggest bills most of us will ever face.

3 Factors to Consider When Using College Savings Abroad – February 17, 2016 -Americans living overseas should plan based on where their children will attend college, experts say.

FAFSA: Get the Most out of Your Federal Student Aid – February 17, 2016 – You can now file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2016-2017 school year. The FAFSA is used by college students (or prospective college students) to determine how much help they will be able to receive to attend school. Aid is generally broken down into grants, scholarships and loans.

3 Things You Need to Know About 529 Savings Plans – February 13, 2016 – A 529 savings plan can be a great way to save for your child or other loved one’s college education, but it’s not like other investment accounts.

529 plan is best way to save for college – February 12, 2016 – When it comes to setting money aside that will be used specifically to pay expenses related to college, a majority of  experts agree that mutual funds, bank accounts and most other investment vehicles that could be used for the same purpose are no match compared to the benefits of using 529 savings plans.

Grandparents and College Planning — the Right Way – February 9, 2016 – Grandparents are usually willing to help with college expenses when possible. I remember my own grandmother chipping in a bit for my freshman year at school.

Here’s How You Can Start Saving For College Right Now – February 9, 2016 – The cost of sending your kid off to earn their college degree isn’t an easy one to digest — today, the national average for a public in-state four-year college is around $20,000 annually, for example — but if you start preparing for it now, you can help eliminate (some of) the stress you’ll face come high school graduation.

Good News for 529 Plans May Lead to Lower Fees – February 8, 2016 – The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act provided an important update to 529 plans, retroactive to the beginning of 2015. However, since Congress didn’t get around to passing the legislation until the mid-December, 529 plan administrators were left in a bind to adjust their software to issue correct 1099-Qs that reflect the new rules. Fortunately for 529 plan administrators, the IRS has promised not to impose penalties for earnings computations that do not reflect the new law.

Saving for College and Section 529 Plans – February 3, 2016 – The past decade has simultaneously witnessed a substantial increase in enrollment at post-secondary institutions and a marked increase in college tuition. Not surprisingly, this trend overlapped with an increased demand for student loans and tax-advantaged educational savings.

College Savings Plans May Make Sense for Cash-Strapped Families – January 27, 2016 – When President Barack Obama proposed eliminating a major tax advantage to 529 college savings plans last year, one of the primary reasons was to direct more tax breaks to middle-class families.

Robert Hurt statement on broadening 529 Plan investment options – January 26, 2016 – The Securities and Exchange Commission recently issued interpretive advice relating to the status of prepaid tuition programs established by members of the College Savings Plans Network.

Find Out What Recent Changes to 529 College Savings Plans Mean – January 20, 2016 – Buying a computer for college in 2016? You can use college savings.


Common sense college savings legislation 11/18/15 – A college education is an investment in a child’s future. In the face of rising higher education costs, our nation should be doing what we can to help families make that investment.

Consider Giving The Gift of College This Season 11/18/15 – With student debt growing 56 percent over the past ten years, saving for college has never been more important.

How to Be Smarter With a ‘529’ Account 11/10/15 – Many parents and grandparents love “529” accounts to save for college. But like anything involving money and taxes, not everyone uses them in the most efficient way.

Confused Over How To Save For College? Here Are Answers 11/06/15 – Many American parents face a tug of war over trying to save enough for retirement and saving for college.

529 plans grow, but many still don’t know about them 9/16/15 – As college costs continue to rise, more people are opening 529 plans to cope with the higher tuition bills and other school expenses.

College Savings Plans Network: The Go-To Resource for “529 Plans” & Helping Students Avoid Future Debt 8/3/15 – The Lowdown: College Savings Plans Network is a leading national clearinghouse that breaks down 529 savings plans, petitions for updates to Section 529 laws, encourages parents to start investing in their children’s educational futures and helps students eliminate college debt.

Rebuffed by Congress, President Obama Now Embraces 529 Plans 9/15/15 – The season isn’t the only thing changing in Washington right now—so is the administration’s recollection of where it stands on 529 plans, the savings accounts that help make college more affordable for many American families.

Now, Obama and Education Secretary Push for College Saving Plan 9/15/15 – Just eight months ago, President Obama was proposing to effectively end the popular college savings accounts known as 529s. On Monday, with Mr. Obama next to him, Education Secretary Arne Duncan embraced them and even seemed to suggest they should be expanded.

529 plans can help you save for college 5/27/2015 – There is a lot you need to know about your finances. So, I’m giving you a pass if you don’t know what a 529 plan is.

Are Major Legislative Changes Coming for 529 Plans? 5/07/2015 – Ever since the political backlash the president endured after talking about the possibility of taxing 529 plan earnings, legislation about improving 529 plans that was sitting still has now become a m…

4 insider tips to get the best financial aid package 4/13/2015 – Financial aid consultants offer some tricks for navigating the system and point out the biggest sources of confusion their clients encounter along the way.

3 Reasons to Avoid Life Insurance Policies for College 4/13/2015 – Once their child is born, parents are often bombarded with literature and advertisements touting different methods to save for college. And with the promise of guaranteed rates of return, cash-value l…

529 Plans for College: Now the Focus Turns to Enhancements 1/28/2015 – With President Barack Obama dropping his proposal to raise taxes on 529 college-savings accounts, attention now shifts to legislation aiming to enhance the plans.

Obama to Drop Proposal to End ‘529’ College Savings Plans 1/27/2015 – President Obama, facing angry reprisals from parents and from lawmakers of both parties, will drop his proposal to effectively end popular college savings accounts known as 529s, but will keep an expa…

Are 529 plans really just a tax break for the rich? 1/23/2015 – President Barack Obama’s proposal this week to roll back tax benefits for so-called 529 plans exposes a fundamental disagreement about who is benefiting from these state-sponsored college savings plan…

Push to Tax ‘529’ Plans Stokes Debate (503.4 KB) – Chris Hunter 1/23/2015 – President Barack Obama’s push to start taxing college-savings accounts, including the popular “529” accounts, would affect millions of Americans who are stashing money for their children’s education, …

Now He’s After Middle-Class Savers 1/22/2015 – President Obama is pitching his new tax plan as a way to help the middle class at the expense of the rich. But middle-class savers are bound to notice if he achieves two of the White House’s stated go…

Estes Concerned with President’s Tax Proposal for 529 Plans 1/21/2015 – State Treasurer Ron Estes today addressed concern with President Barack Obama’s proposal to apply income tax on withdrawals from 529 College Savings Plans used to pay for higher education expenses.

Obama’s Plan Could Scare Families Away from College Savings 1/21/2015 – President Obama is going to discuss a plan that could discourage lower income and middle class families from saving for college and even cost them free money.

Will 529 Plans Be Taxed? 1/21/2015 – Now that President Obama has given his State of the Union address, a lot of people are buzzing about proposals surrounding free community college and 529 plan taxation.

Obama’s 529 Plan Tax Hike Is an Assault on American Dream 1/21/2015 – It’s pretty clear that the Obama White House and their allies on The Left just don’t get it when it comes to their proposed tax hike on 529 college savings plans.


College Planning Guide 2015 11/19/2014 – Your destination for tips on applying to and paying for college on

Mistakes Parents Make With Financial Aid 10/15/2014 – Most families know the basics of college financial aid: Several months before school starts, students apply for assistance, parents detail their financial situations, and then everybody waits for the …

MPACT Reopens (74 KB) – Chris Hunter 10/02/2014 – Following a comprehensive program review, including modifying the program, Mississippi reopened the MPACT program to new participants on October 1, 2014.

Limit the Impact of Grandparent-Owned 529 Plans 8/21/2014 – Follow these strategies so withdrawals from a college-savings account don’t hurt your student’s chances for aid.

Guide to Financial Aid: FAFSA, CSS and EFC 7/30/2014 – This comprehensive guide to college aid, updated for 2014, will help you estimate how much your family will be expected to contribute toward the cost of college, provides links to Forbes new SmartSear…

Watch out for these financial aid schemes 7/30/2014 – As the cost of college continues to rise, students and their families are growing increasingly desperate for financial aid of any kind, as they struggle to avoid loan debt or bankruptcy.

The College Degrees That Get The Most Job Offers 1/24/2014 – Nearly 70% of computer science majors had at least one job offer before they graduated from college last year, according to data gathered by the National Association for Colleges and Employers (NACE)


11 strategies for getting financial aid 12/16/2013 – If your high school junior or senior is preparing for college — it’s time you prepared to meet the FAFSA. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is the gateway to need-based financial aid, Feder…

They Loved Your G.P.A. Then They Saw Your Tweets 11/13/2013 – At Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Me., admissions officers are still talking about the high school senior who attended a campus information session last year for prospective students. Throughout the pr…

Creating an Admissions Strategy 10/29/2013 – Strong grades, test scores and quality essays are essential for impressing college admissions officers, but experts say the timing of application submissions can also play a role in whether an accepta…

College aid: Don’t take the bait 1/24/2013 – Some advisers promote life insurance as the tuition cure-all. Yet a four-month investigation by MONEY has found that the people most likely to profit from this strategy are the planners themselves.


This college savings plan flunks the test 12/07/2012 – Anna in Riverside, Calif., thought she was doing the right thing by securing her child’s college education with a life-insurance plan. Then she read my column last week about the Gerber Grow-Up Plan, …

Review Your 529 Plan to Meet College Savings Goals 10/17/2012 – Parents should follow these steps annually, since financial and family circumstances may change.

Get a 529 Plan Boost From Your State 9/14/2012 – Those who contribute to 529 college savings plans can take advantage of matching grants.

Update – February 29, 2012 (141.4 KB) – Chris Hunter 9/07/2012 – Learn about College Savings Aggregator Services in this new update from CSPN.

Tax-Savvy Ways to Tap Your 529 Plan for College 8/16/2012 – Planning to use money in a 529 college savings plan, consider tax and financial aid issues before taking a 529 withdrawal.

College: Expensive, but a smart choice 7/27/2012 – It’s expensive and no job is guaranteed at the end, but research shows that college could easily be the best investment you ever make.

College Students Are Bearing More of the Tuition Burden 7/27/2012 – Two years ago parents paid for 47 percent of college costs from income, savings, and borrowing; their share is now down to 37 percent.

4 Steps for Choosing Age-Based 529 Plans 7/27/2012 – Some college savings accounts adjust allocations based on the age of the child who will use the money.

Survey Shows 529 Prepaid Tuition Plans are Funded 2/17/2012 – A recently-released survey shows that pre-paid tuition plans are currently 93% funded, up from 91% last fiscal year.


Education Pays 8/19/2011 – Today, Americans without an education are seven times more likely to be without a job.

Saving for college? 529 plan remains best choice 5/16/2011 – Q: Is opening a 529 college savings investment plan a good idea even with such a volatile stock market?

Will Saving for College Hurt Financial Aid Chances? 9/15/2011 – Many parents worry about this. Relax. Saving for college almost never hurts a family’s chances for financial aid.

College Savings Plans Cut Fees 5/13/2011 – There’s a new front opening up in the ongoing price war among financial-services firms: 529 college savings plans.


Seven Strategies For Paying For College In Tough Times 9/10/2010 – As incoming freshmen are heading off to campus, many parents and students are asking the question: How are we going to pay for college?

Starting a 529 plan for a child already in college 8/13/2010 – Does it make sense to start a 529 savings plan for my daughter if she is starting college this year?


Strategies to Help Grandchildren Now, Not Later 10/30/2009 – MANY grandparents want to provide a financial cushion for their grandchildren in the future. Bobbie Abrams, 76, has a more pressing concern: helping them with current expenses.

College-Savings Plans Don’t Need to Blow Up 6/16/2009 – If you are saving for college in a 529 plan, you probably took a bigger hit than you expected during the 2008 market crash. What should you do now? Keep the plan or dump it? June 16, 2009, Bloomberg.c…

The case for 529 college savings plans 6/09/2009 – I’ve written a fair amount here and in our money newsletter about the tradeoff between saving for your own retirement vs. a child’s college education. Generally I’ve come down on the side of making re…


Tough Questions On 529s 10/31/2008 – This article answers tough questions, like: “How exactly do I avoid gift taxes on larger deposits?” “When should I take the money out?” “How do I make sure I’m not taxed on the withdrawals?” an…

Which College Accounts to Tap First 5/28/2008 – – My son starts college this fall. Which account should I tap first to help pay the bills: a custodial account, his 529 college-savings plan or a taxable account?

Know state taxes before joining a 529 plan 7/20/2007 – Sandra Block, USA Today – Suppose you’re house-hunting and you stumble on a charming bungalow with fresh paint, new carpet and cheery flower boxes in the windows. If you’re smart, you’ll make sure the…

Website can guide confused parents through maze of 529 3/20/2007 – Sandra Block, USA TODAY – You’re in a restaurant, and the waiter hands you a menu that’s 10 pages long. Do you carefully consider every entrée? Or do you throw up your hands, order the special and hop…