Plan for Future Educational Opportunities with VT529

Written by
Stephen Mease

Date
May 25, 2022

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College Savings Day

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Description automatically generatedNational 529 College Savings Day is recognized on Sunday, May 29, highlighting the importance of 529 savings plans in helping families plan and pay for college or training expenses. This graduation season, plant seeds for education opportunities with VT529. It's a great way to celebrate the end of the school year, whether your graduate is moving from preschool to kindergarten or high school to college — and beyond. 

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 Vermont Student Assistance Corp. (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 of 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 five to allow your investment to build over time.” But it’s never too late to start saving — even if your child is in high school, college, or graduate school.

A 529 plan can help fund 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. Your VT529 can be used for adult 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.

What if you can’t save a lot right now? If like many Vermonters, you’re focused on meeting today’s financial needs, you may feel that 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 four options:

  1. Open a NEW account with a $25 deposit (or just $15 using payroll deduction).
  2. Add to an EXISTING account.
  3. Purchase or redeem a Gift of College gift card.
  4. Invite others to give a gift to your VT529 accounts via eGift.

Even if you can’t save much right now, learning about the benefits of 529 plans is the place to start. National 529 College Savings Day is a great time to begin. Find out more about the VT529 plan.

VIEW THE VSAC SHOWS YOU HOW 529 WEBINAR RECORDING

In our, VSAC Shows You How webinar from last fall, VSAC panelists Marilyn Cargill, vice president of financial aid services, marketing, and research, and Richard Westman, VSAC's manager of the VT529 program, explain what 529 plans are and how they help families save for education, with tax benefits to make saving easier. View the recording.

To contact customer service for VT529, call 1-800-637-5860 Mon–Fri from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. or 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.

You can also give us a call at 800-642-3177, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and online at info@vsac.org.