“We prepare our kids for the start of a new school year, but we must not forget to prepare financially for their future higher education,” McCord said. “As a father getting ready to drop his son off to college, I know how fast time goes by. I strongly encourage families to start saving for their kid’s college education today; every dollar saved is one less to borrow.”
Parents who act now can beat the increase – simply contribute to the PA 529 GSP by August 31. Contributions sent by mail must be postmarked by August 31 and online contributions must be made by 11:59 p.m. EDT on August 31 at http://http://www.pa529.com/
In the spirit of back-to-school savings, the McCord Treasury is offering free enrollment – a $50 savings – for all new PA 529 GSP accounts opened online during August at PA529.com. Use code SAVE when prompted. The department is also offering a chance for families to win one of five $529 college savings accounts at http://http://www.pa529.com/
Growth in the PA 529 GSP is based on tuition inflation. The plan lets an account owner save for tomorrow’s college expenses at today’s plan rates – without worrying about the ups and downs of the stock market.
Pennsylvania also offers a second 529 plan, the PA 529 Investment Plan, in which returns are based on financial market performance. The PA 529 Investment Plan features low fees and more than a dozen conservative and aggressive investment options from The Vanguard Group, one of the nation’s largest financial services companies.
Contributions to either PA 529 plan are deductible from Pennsylvania income taxes, grow tax free, and, when used for qualified educational expenses, are federal and state tax exempt. Both plans provide flexibility to pay for college expenses at most higher education institutions across the country. Pennsylvanians may deduct contributions from their taxable income up to $14,000 per beneficiary, or up to $28,000 for married couples.
With a record-breaking 188,039 open accounts in fiscal year 2013-14, the PA 529 College Savings Program saw total program assets grow by 18.65 percent, which totaled nearly $3.38 billion.
Treasurer McCord also announced that PA 529 account owners enrolled in SAGE Scholars (SAGE) – a benefit exclusive to Pennsylvania 529 account owners – will earn even more discounts. SAGE is a free scholarship program that helps families earn tuition discounts for college at over 330 participating private colleges and universities, including over 55 schools in Pennsylvania. Total discounts are typically one year’s worth of tuition – spread over four years. Starting in September, SAGE enrolled accounts will earn a minimum of 250 tuition rewards points quarterly ($250). And, SAGE will match 50 percent of new contributions made August 1 through December 31, 2014. Beneficiary age restrictions apply.
The Treasurer added families that wish to learn more about the benefits of a 529 plan can view free college savings webinars at http://http://www.pa529.com/ The online presentations also allow users to have their questions answered by a PA 529 college savings expert.
For more information, visit http://http://www.pa529.com/ or call 1-800-440-4000 to open an account or make a contribution.
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