• 30 Tips for 30 Days of College Savings

    Tip #1

    September 1, 2013

    529 savings and prepaid tuition plans can be used at virtually any accredited college or university in the U.S. and even at some foreign schools. They can also be used at eligible trade and technical schools.

    Tip #2: Be Prepared – The Cost of an Education is Rising

    September 2, 2013

    The average cost for tuition and fees at four-year public institutions has increased nearly 51% over the last 10 years. Saving for college with a 529 plan can help with the increasing cost and help you be financially prepared when your children are ready for college.

  • Get your savings in full swing this spring

    Lucas Minor
    GET Marketing & Communications ManagerCSPN-Baseball-Quote
    May 4, 2015

    I always welcome the start of baseball season, as it’s a great reminder that good things are in store for the months ahead. It’s a chance for renewed optimism as we cheer on the home team (Go Mariners!) and hope that maybe ‘this’ will finally be their year. And accordingly, Mother Nature is showing signs of bright life: the sun starts showing itself again, flowers are in bloom and everything is turning green again! But what do baseball and the change in seasons have to do with college savings?

    Just as the start of the season involves a steep learning curve for a team, getting your college savings started is not always easy right out of the gate. You’ll experience some growing pains and it will take time to get a consistent game plan established. Despite these early road bumps, remember that this time of year is also the perfect opportunity for a fresh start – a chance to try out a new approach. If you stay committed and keep working hard, saving will continue to come more naturally, and your college savings plan will begin to blossom.

  • Statement from College Savings Plans Network on Senate Finance Committee Passage of College Savings Bill

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 30, 2015) – Yesterday, the Senate Finance Committee considered S. 335, the companion bill to H.R. 529, which was passed with a bipartisan vote by the House of Representatives in February. Introduced by Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Bob Casey (D-PA), the Senate Finance Committee voted unanimously in favor of the bill 26-0.

    The legislation will make 529 plans more flexible by making computers an eligible education expense; allowing the redeposit of college refunds without negative tax implications in certain circumstances and updating outdated accounting rules.

    Betty Lochner, chair of the College Savings Plans Network (CSPN)—the nation’s leading objective source of information about Section 529 College Savings Plans and Prepaid Tuition Plans—issued the following statement:

  • Happy Tax Day!

    Tax Day

    Jamie Canup, Partner
    Hirschler Fleischer
    April 15, 2015

    Happy Tax Day?  Not something you typically hear on April 15th.  If you invest in a 529 Plan you can congratulate yourself for making a wise investment choice that also comes with multiple tax benefits.  529 Plans are among the most tax-efficient instruments available for someone to save for future higher education expenses — whether those expenses are for you, your children, or your grandchildren (or frankly, anyone else).

  • Make your tax refund work for you this year

    By: Hon. Michael L. Fitzgerald
    State Treasurer, State of Iowa
    March 30, 2015

    When it comes to our children, we all want the best for them and their futures. Watching them grow and develop, we observe them exploring with their imaginations and discovering the endless possibilities for success in life. Graduating with a college degree is a huge achievement, and one way to help set them up for that success is to save for their higher education. However, much like the April 15 deadline for taxes, the time to start saving for your children’s college education is over before you know it, which is why I encourage you to take your 2014 refund and invest it in your children’s future.

  • I’m Not Worried About Paying for College; My Child’s Going to Get a Scholarship

    Jim Peterson
    Marketing Manager, Michigan Education Trust (MET)
    March 9, 2015

    During the course of any conversation I have concerning saving for college with a 529 plan, parents will inevitably ask, “What happens if my son/daughter gets a scholarship?” I understand the question; it’s a valid one. Parents are considering investing their hard-earned money and they’re looking at all the possible outcomes that may affect their investment. Those are important questions to ask.

    But, if you’re a parent that’s putting off saving for your child’s education because you believe your child will attend college on an athletic scholarship, let me share a word of caution – the thousands of dollars you spend in supporting your student athlete will, most likely, not translate into college dollars.

  • Statement from College Savings Plans Network on Passage of H.R. 529

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 25, 2015) – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 529, legislation introduced by Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) and Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI) that would make 529 plans more flexible by making computers an eligible education expense; allowing the redeposit of college refunds without negative tax implications in certain circumstances and updating outdated accounting rules.

  • Legislation to Enhance 529 College Savings Plans

    Betty Lochner
    Chair of the College Savings Plans Network (CSPN) and Director of Washington’s Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) Program
    February 4, 2015
    Last week Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) and Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI) introduced H.R.529, legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives that would make 529 plans more flexible and remove some of the obstacles participants face while saving for college.

  • President Realizes Formula for College Success Includes Savings Incentives

    Betty Lochner
    Chair of the College Savings Plans Network & Director of Washington State’s Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) Program
    January 29, 2015

    When I was elected Chair of the College Savings Plans Network (CSPN), never in my wildest imagination did I think I would be debating the value of one of the core benefits and characteristics of 529 plans with the President of the United States. Nonetheless, that is exactly what happened this past week when President Obama announced his plan to repeal the tax benefits associated with 529 college savings plans.

    As soon as the President’s proposal was announced as part of his State of the Union address, members of CSPN rallied together like never before to unite in an advocacy effort to defend the value of 529 plans for the more than 12 million American families that own accounts.  Our goal was to remind the President and our elected officials that planning and saving are vital components to ensuring higher education enrollment rates continue to rise in our country and that families receive the support they need in helping their children fulfill their dreams.

  • From Dream to Reality: Children’s Savings Accounts Build Money and Momentum to Get More Children to College

    Blog pic 1.19.15
    By Lisa Groen
    Senior Writer, Utah Educational Savings Plan
    January 19, 2015

    More than 50 years ago, when the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and spoke the words, “I have a dream,” he contrasted racial injustice with the U.S. Constitution’s promise of equality and opportunity for all. He called for change, including equal access to education.

    As the nation’s college savings plans continue to work to ensure that King’s dream of equal access is fully realized, they can rely on encouraging data that lends understanding to what may help children attain a college education. William Elliott, a researcher on the topic of children’s savings accounts (CSAs), reports that when children have savings accounts in their names, they are more likely to attend college, regardless of their parents’ personal savings and net worth. A child with as little as $1 to $499 in a CSA is 3 times more likely to enroll and 2.5 times more likely to graduate from college.*  This suggests that designating a savings account for a child’s future college expenses, regardless of the amount saved, may be vital to academic attainment—important information for families considering opening a 529 college savings account.

  • Saving for College is Easier than Diet & Exercise

    Betty Lochner
    Chair of the College Savings Plans Network and Director of Washington’s Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) program

    January 5, 2015

    The new-year is upon us and that means many of us have set resolutions like finding time to exercise more, eat well or accomplish a long-established goal.

    While I see the merit in making resolutions, I’ve never been one to make too many of them. There is one life-changing resolution I did make 15 years ago when I was hired as the Director of the GET program. Believe it or not, my husband and I had not started saving for our children’s college education and I knew if we did not start now we were never going to make it happen. We started small and kept adding to the effort over the years and I am proud to say that both of my kids graduated debt-free! My son recently completed his MBA at the University of Washington and is now a project manager at Microsoft and my daughter followed in her father’s footsteps and is a first grade teacher.