Look to the future with the gift of education opportunity.

Written by
Emily Stetson

Date
November 17, 2021

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As we enter the holiday season, VSAC encourages families to look ahead and plan for their kids' future possibilities with a gift of education savings. Vermont’s state-sponsored 529 savings plan provides an easy way for families to give (and receive!) a gift that will last far beyond the holiday season and will make a truly meaningful difference in your children's lives.

Saving for college or training, even in small amounts, can help your kids (and grandkids) get ready for tomorrow’s opportunities, no matter what path they want to explore. Studies show that students with even small amounts of savings are three times more likely to pursue education after high school and four times more likely to complete that training. Which means they’ll be more prepared with the degree or credentials they need for the jobs of the future. 

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Description automatically generated“College savings accounts are a powerful tool,” said Scott Giles, president and CEO of the Vermont Student Assistance Corp., the state-appointed administrator of Vermont’s 529 savings program, the Vermont Higher Education Investment Plan, also know as VT529. “Education is one of the most important investments a student can make. That’s why we want to encourage families to save for college and other career training. Vermont’s 529 savings plan is a great place to start.”

A gift for the kids. A Vermont tax credit for you.

Named after Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, 529 savings plans help families set aside funds for future college or training costs, with  federal and state tax advantages to help make saving easier. Because 529 plans can be opened with just $25, they're accessible for families at most income levels, and the savings can grow tax-free, adding more savings. 

Vermont's official state-sponsored savings plan, established in 1999, is the only savings program that enables Vermont taxpayers to get a Vermont state income tax credit on annual contributions for education after high school. Deposits made into a VT529 account by December 31 qualify for a 10% tax credit on contributions up to $2,500 per beneficiary per year ($5,000 if filing jointly) for 2021. That’s a Vermont tax credit of up to $250 (or $500 for joint taxpayers), per beneficiary per year. 

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Description automatically generated529 savings can be used to pay for tuition, room and board (both on and off campus), books, and many other costs of college or training, including apprenticeships and credential programs. The funds are viewed favorably for financial aid, and there's no age or time limit: 529 plans can be used for graduate or adult education, So, whatever the age of your loved one, whether an infant or a teen—or even in high school or college—you can benefit now from federal and state tax advantages for 529 contributions and savings.

To explain more about 529 savings plans, we recorded VSAC Shows You How webinar earlier this fall, focusing specifically how and why to set up a 529 plan. Watch the full recorded video here.

Friends and family can give a gift, too.

With VSAC’s Gift of College gift card, it’s easy to give (or ask for) the gift of education opportunity. VSAC’s Gift of College gift cards are available at Vermont locations of Cumberland Farms and Kinney Drugs stores, making it convenient to pick up a local card for the loved ones on your holiday lists. Learn more about purchasing or redeeming a VSAC Gift of College gift card here.


Dog in graduation cap holding VSAC Gift of College gift card“As family and friends shop for the special children in their lives, these gift cards offer an easy and convenient way to contribute to a college fund. And no other gift card gains value through the years,” notes Scott Giles, VSAC president and CEO.

Friends and family can also give a gift of any amount  or open an account with as little as $25. Learn more about saving and gifting with VT529 at vsac.org/save. 
 

Benji found a meaningful gift--a VSAC Gift of College gift card.