COVID-19 updates & ways VSAC can help
May 29 is National 529 Day!
National 529 Day is recognized on May 29 (5/29, get it?), highlighting the importance of 529 savings plans in helping families plan and pay for college or training expenses. This May, plant seeds for education opportunity with VT529.
What is a 529 plan? These education savings plans are designed to help families set aside funds for future training costs, with tax advantages to help make saving easier. The plans are named after Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, which created these types of savings plans in 1996. Most 529 plans are operated by state agencies, like VSAC.
Vermont’s VT529 program, the Vermont Higher Education Investment Plan, is administrated by VSAC to help Vermont families prepare for education expenses. VT529 benefits family members all ages, from babies to grad students and even adults returning to training.
Plus, VT529 is the only savings plan that offers Vermont taxpayers a 10% Vermont state income tax credit on annual contributions deposited for college or training after high school.
“College savings accounts are clearly a powerful tool,” notes Scott Giles, president and CEO of VSAC. “We encourage parents to get started early to save for college and other career training. The ideal time to begin saving is between birth and age 5 in order to allow your investment to build over time.” But it’s never too late to start saving – and 529 plans can help you fund future education with even small amounts, whatever the age of your loved one. It can help fund an adult’s education or retraining, too.
That's important because all Vermonters need some form of education or training after high school to be qualified for Vermont’s current and future jobs. Research shows that students from families who save just modest amounts (less than $500) for education are 3x more likely to go on to college or training and 4x more likely to graduate from a program. The savings can be used for education expenses (including tuition, computers, room and board, and the costs for apprenticeship programs) at institutions throughout the U.S., as well as at schools in Canada and around the world.
What if you can’t save a lot right now? If, like many Vermonters, you are focused on meeting today’s financial needs, you may feel there’s little extra for saving. We understand that.
But you may be surprised what a difference saving even small amounts can do, over time. Saving just $25 a month to invest in your 529 can add up, helping you prepare for future goals.
How do you get started with VT529? It’s easy to celebrate graduations, birthdays or special occasions with VT529 savings. Choose from 4 options:
- Open a NEW account with a $25 deposit (or just $15 using payroll deduction).
- Add to an EXISTING account owned by someone else.
- Purchase or redeem a Gift of College gift card.
- Invite others to give a gift to your VT529 accounts via eGift.
Check out our new look! We've changed up the way we refer to the Vermont Higher Education Investment Plan: From now on VHEIP will also be referred to as VT529, which is easy to say, easy to spell, and easy to understand and remember. But our commitment to helping you save for college & training remains the same. To contact customer service for VT529, call 1-800-637-5860 Mon.-Fri. from 8am to 7pm ET, or reach us by email.
Need help with education goals? VSAC is here to assist you. Serving our community is at the heart of all we do. For information on college and career planning and help with financial aid, go to www.vsac.org/FAFSAfirst and check out our online workshops and events. For an update of how we can help during the COVID-19 crisis, click here.