29
Nov

Vermont’s 529 college savings plan tops $350 million in assets

Vermonters are giving the gift of education and earning tax credits too

WINOOSKI (November 29, 2017) – Investments in Vermont’s 529 college savings plan have reached another milestone, topping $350 million in assets, the Vermont Student Assistance Corp. announced today.

Vermont’s plan, the Vermont Higher Education Investment Plan, or VHEIP, turns 18 this year, the same age as students heading off to college or other educational opportunities after high school graduation.

With more than 20,000 accounts, VHEIP has paid out over $143 million to help more than 5,800 students over the years to continue their education.

“All Vermonters will need some form of education or training after high school to be ready for Vermont’s future jobs. And, we know that students from families who save even a small amount for education are three times more likely to continue their education,” said Scott Giles, president and CEO of VSAC, which administers the 529 plan for the state.

Vermont has one of the most competitive and well-run 529 plans for its size, including strong performance on the investments and the second lowest management fee among our peers, Giles said.

“Thousands of Vermonters have made long-term, prudent investments for the educational future of loved ones and the state has encouraged millions in these savings with the tax credit – an added incentive to make higher education more affordable.”

Nearly all states offer tax advantages of some type for 529 college savings plan, but Vermont provides a nonrefundable tax credit of 10 percent of the first $2,500 contributed per beneficiary, per year. Contributions made by Dec. 31 qualify for a 2017 Vermont income tax credit.

“Our goal is to provide families with a college savings plan that is affordable, accessible and flexible,” Giles said. “Every dollar saved is a dollar you don’t have to borrow. It is encouraging to see so many students using VHEIP funds to continue their education.”

VHEIP accounts can be started with as little as $25, making them affordable to most Vermonters. Or, you can give a gift of any amount to an existing account. VHEIP’s website, www.vheip.org, provides comprehensive account and program information, and includes online enrollment, e-gifting instructions and other services. Information and applications can also be obtained by calling 800-637-5860.

About VSAC – Changing Lives through Education and Training since 1965

Vermont Student Assistance Corporation is a public, nonprofit agency established by the Vermont Legislature in 1965 to help Vermonters achieve their education and training goals after high school. VSAC serves students and their families in grades 7-12, as well as adults returning to school, by providing education and career planning services, need-based grants, scholarships and education loans. VSAC has awarded more than $600 million in grants and scholarships for Vermont students, and also administers Vermont’s 529 college savings plan. Share your VSAC story by email to myVSACstory@vsac.org or submit a video to YouTube. Find us at www.vsac.org or check in on Facebook and Twitter. #changing lives