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Diane Publishing Books
Higher Education: A Small Percentage of Families Save in 529 Plans
Michelle Sager (au)
Paying for college is becoming more challenging, partly because of rising tuition rates. A college savings plan can be an option to help meet these costs. To encourage families to save for college, earnings from 529 plans äóî named after section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code äóî grow tax-deferred and are exempt from federal income tax when they are used for qualified higher education expenses. In fiscal year 2011, the Dept. of the Treasury estimated these plans represented $1.6 billion in forgone federal revenue. Managed by states, over one hundred 529 plan options were available to families nationwide as of July 2012. The number of 529 plan accounts and the amount invested in them has grown during the past decade. This report describes (1) the percentage and characteristics of families enrolling in 529 plans, (2) plan features and other factors that affect participation in 529 plans, and (3) the extent to which savings in 529 plans affect financial aid awards. Tables and figures.
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