By Iowa State Treasurer Roby Smith, administrator of Iowa’s 529 Education Savings Programs, College Savings Iowa and the IAdvisor 529 Plan

March 14, 2023

There are fewer summers with your children before they head to college than there are minutes in half a game of collegiate basketball – now that’s madness. While many of us are gearing up for the big tournament, I’m gearing up to tell families about the ease of saving for their children’s higher education adventure with a 529 plan. 

It’s a Team Effort

Just like basketball, saving for education shouldn’t be a one-person job. Grandparents, other relatives, neighbors, friends – you name it; anyone can open a 529 account on behalf of a child to help them reach their education goals. In fact, you can maximize the savings by enlisting everyone on your team to have their own account for your student.

Maintain Control

In basketball, the point guard is usually the team leader and controls the offense. Likewise, as a 529 account owner, you have all the control and decide where, when, and how the funds are used, no matter your student’s age. 

Pass the Ball

Did your child decide to take a gap year or forgo the higher education route? Don’t sweat it – you have options. Transfer the money to an eligible family member (sibling, cousin, etc.), keep the money in the account until they’re ready (funds never expire), or save it for yourself. The choice is in your court!

Customize Your Bracket

Arguably one of the most important decisions of March Madness is how you will fill out your bracket – especially when there’s money on the line. The same could be said about your 529 investments. With age- or target-based investment options, you can customize your investment portfolio to fit the timeline and needs of your student. 

Don’t wait until the final buzzer. Start today by researching the right plan for you with CSPN’s 529 Search and Comparison Tool. No matter which one you choose, the funds can be used at any eligible education institution in the US or even abroad. Swish – it doesn’t get better than that. See you on the court! 

About the Author

Iowa State Treasurer Roby Smith is the administrator of Iowa’s 529 Education Savings Programs, College Savings Iowa and the IAdvisor 529 Plan, with over $6 billion invested and more than $5.1 billion in qualified withdrawals.