Columbus, OH – Even with the ups and downs of this year, the number of families saving through Ohio’s 529 Plan is on the rise. The college savings program reached $13.1 billion in Assets Under Management (AUM) on June 30, 2020.
These families’ smart savings strategies are reflected in Ohio’s 529 Plan, CollegeAdvantage. The $13.1 billion AUM is a 5.6% increase from the same point in 2019. CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Plan experienced a 9.1% increase in AUM from this time last year, and the Blackrock CollegeAdvantage Advisor Plan had 2.2% increase in AUM over last year.
Every year, Ohio’s 529 Plan strives to increase new accounts and new contributions by 10% each over the previous fiscal year. As of June 30, 2020, contributions to Ohio’s 529 Plan were up 12.1% over the same point in 2019, and new account openings were up 13.4% over the prior year.
Families recognize the importance of saving for college, even in uncertain times. In fact, according to a recent survey from SavingForCollege.com, the leading source for unbiased information on saving and paying for college, college savers are staying the course when it comes to their 529 accounts. The survey found that 67% of 529 account owners have made no changes to their contributions and another 15% actually have increased their contributions.
The program’s low-cost, flexibility, investment line-up, and growth in assets make Ohio’s 529 Plan the sixth-largest 529 college savings plan in the country. Earlier this summer, Savingforcollege.com ranked CollegeAdvantage first in the nation for best performance in both the five-year and 10-year categories.
Individuals who save through Ohio’s 529 Plan have a choice of two different plans: the CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Plan for the do-it yourself investor or the BlackRock CollegeAdvantage Advisor 529 Plan for those who prefer the help of a financial advisor.
“Now more than ever is the time to save and invest for educational or training costs after high school,” said Tim Gorrell, executive director of Ohio’s 529 Plan. “Ohio’s 529 Savings Program can be your trusted partner in realizing these savings goals.”
Funds in CollegeAdvantage may be used for all types of qualified higher education expenses, whether for a typical four-year college or university, two-year community college, technical or trade school, or a certificate program. If the postsecondary school your child elects to attend accepts federal financial aid, Ohio’s 529 Plan can be used there. Ohio’s 529 Plan helps families in Ohio and across the country save money for their children’s future higher education or training with significant tax-advantaged benefits. All contributions and earnings grow tax free, and withdrawals from CollegeAdvantage are tax free when used to pay qualified higher education expenses. These qualified costs include tuition, fees, room and board, books, and computers. This year, apprenticeship programs and up to $10,000 student loan repayments have been added as qualified expenses. And funds in CollegeAdvantage can be used at any college in the country.
Ohio residents who contributes to an Ohio 529 Plan account can deduct their 529 contributions from their Ohio taxable income. The deduction has been increased to $4,000 per year, per beneficiary, with unlimited carry forward. The $4,000 per year is the maximum deduction amount and not the maximum contribution amount.
Established Oct. 2, 1989, Ohio Tuition Trust Authority (OTTA) was originally created with the express purpose of helping middle-income families save for college. For over 30 years, Ohio’s 529 Plan has provided families across the nation flexible options and educational resources to invest for higher education expenses after high school.
Ohio’s 529 Plan, CollegeAdvantage, is offered and administered by the OTTA, a state agency under the Office of the Chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education. Ohio is the sixth-largest state sponsor of 529 plans in the country. CollegeAdvantage is offered as the CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Savings Plan and the Blackrock CollegeAdvantage 529 Plan, which is offered and marketed through BlackRock and sold through professional financial advisors. To learn more, explore Ohio’s 529 Plan – https://www.collegeadvantage.com/theplanthatcan.