• Closed for Columbus Day

    by Ben Gibbons | Oct 08, 2015

    The offices of the Ohio Tuition Trust Authority will be closed on Monday, October 12, 2015 in observance of Columbus Day. ​Because of this, our Customer Service department (1-800-AFFORD-IT) will be closed for the day, though they are available to assist you on regular business days from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm ET before or after the holiday. Please be aware that you may transact business online as usual. You may also access your account online 24/7.

  • CollegeAdvantage Celebrates College Savings Month

    by Michele Schuck | Sep 14, 2015
    September 14, 2015 – Columbus, OH – September is national College Savings Month and CollegeAdvantage is giving away ten $529 college savings awards.  Beginning today through 11:59 pm ET on Sunday, October 4 individuals can enter to win one of ten $529 college savings awards from CollegeAdvantage. Individuals 18 years and older can enter to win by going to www.CollegeAdvantage.com.

    No purchase is necessary and residents from any state can enter once per day, per email address.  Current account owners and non-account owners are eligible.  Each $529 college savings award will be awarded as a contribution to an existing CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Savings Plan account or used to open a new Direct Plan account.

    For 25 years, CollegeAdvantage has helped families save for college for more than 750,000 past, present and future college students.  Any Ohio taxpayer including parents, grandparents, family members and friends who contribute to a CollegeAdvantage account can claim a deduction of up to $2,000 in contributions, per beneficiary, per year from their state of Ohio taxable income. Account owners pay no taxes on the funds as they grow, and withdrawals used for 529-qualified higher education  expenses are free from state of Ohio and federal income taxes on the earnings.  Funds saved through CollegeAdvantage can be used at any accredited college in the country that is eligible to receive federal financial aid.  Families can open an account for as little as $25.  College Savings Month is a great time to begin saving for that special child’s future college education and an even better time to add to an existing account.


    Judy Cunningham, Public Relations Manager
    (614) 752-9350

    About the Ohio Tuition Trust Authority/CollegeAdvantage:
    CollegeAdvantage is Ohio’s 529 college savings program, offered and administered by the Ohio Tuition Trust Authority, a state agency under the Office of the Chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education. Ohio is the fifth largest state sponsor of 529 plans in the country (Strategic Insight Q2 2015). CollegeAdvantage is offered as the CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Savings Plan and the CollegeAdvantage Advisor 529 Saving Plan which is offered and marketed through BlackRock and sold through professional financial advisors. The CollegeAdvantage program, which offers families a tax-advantaged way to save for college, has more than $9.5 billion in assets under management and over 642,000 total accounts as of June 30, 2015. To learn more, visit www.CollegeAdvantage.com.

  • 2015 Kickoff College Savings with the Buckeyes Winners Announced

    by Ben Gibbons | Sep 11, 2015
    See the list of the four lucky people who won Ohio State football tickets from CollegeAdvantage!

    Here at CollegeAdvantage, we recently gave away football tickets to four lucky people. The Grand Prize was two Ohio State Football season tickets. Four runners-up were selected to receive additional tickets for other Ohio State home games.

    From more than 3,000 entries, here are our winners and their awards!

    Grand Prize, two 2015 season tickets for all Ohio State football home games:

    Jill Schellhase of Canal Winchester, Ohio

    Second Prize, two tickets to each of the following home games, Michigan State, Northern Illinois, and Western Michigan:

    Donna Wise of Westerville, Ohio

    Third Prize, two tickets to the following home games, Penn State and Hawaii:

    David Rudy, Enon, Ohio

    Fourth Prize, two tickets to each of the following home games, Maryland and Minnesota:

    Nathan Bersee, Grand Rapids, Ohio 

    Our giveaway was open to account owners and non-account owners. All entries were via Facebook.

    Thank you to everyone who participated. Congratulations to all our winners!

    And, if you don’t see you name on the list don’t worry! Visit us here on Monday, September 14th, as we announce our College Savings Month Giveaway.
  • Direct Plan Fees Reduced Again

    by Ben Gibbons | Aug 31, 2015

    We are pleased to announce that the fee charged by Vanguard to provide portfolio accounting and administration has been reduced from 0.025% to 0.02% effective August 1, 2015. This reduces the Total Annual Fee for the investment options in the Direct Plan. This fee reduction was made possible due to the Direct Plan Assets Under Management (AUM) reaching a high-enough level to trigger contract-specified price reductions. View the updated Fee Table.

    This fee reduction comes on the heels of further reductions that were effective June 19, 2015. On that date, we reduced the OTTA Fee from 0.04% to 0.02%. The volume of AUM also made this reduction possible.

    As assets grow, OTTA is able to consider plan efficiencies that include reductions like these. Making contributions to your account helps you to grow your savings to meet your savings goals. At the same time, your contributions also help to grow AUM, which allows for efficiencies and triggers AUM-based fee reductions. New accounts grow our plan, too, and everyone benefits. If you know someone with small children, tell them about the advantages of saving for college with CollegeAdvantage. You’ll be helping them to save for the future college dreams of their children or grandchildren, and you’ll be helping to grow the Plan, too. Refer family and friends to Whatisa529.com to learn more and to request a CollegeAdvantage Kit.

  • New WAT (Weighted Average Tuition) Rate Announced

    by Ben Gibbons | Aug 31, 2015

    Effective August 10 2015, the payout rates for the CollegeAdvantage Guaranteed 529 Savings Plan are:

    Tuition Unit: $101.62

    Tuition Credit: $116.86

    As you work toward your college savings goals, you should consider the age of your child, the number of years you have to save before college, your risk tolerance, investment goals, and tuition cost projections.

    Depending on your goals, you always have the option to rollover funds from your CollegeAdvantage Guaranteed Plan account to any 529 plan, including the CollegeAdvantage Direct or Advisor Plan at any time, without incurring tax consequences and a penalty. To do so, complete the Guaranteed Plan Withdrawal form.

    Withdrawal values are calculated according to Ohio Administrative Code and may change at any time and without notice.

    The Ohio Tuition Trust Authority does not provide investment advice. The information contained herein is informational only and should not be relied upon exclusively to make your investment decisions. Investment options should be selected based on your investment goals, risk tolerance, and savings time horizon.

    Please note: The earnings portion of non-qualified withdrawals may be subject to taxes and a possible 10% federal tax penalty. If you are considering taking a non-qualified withdrawal, please consult your professional tax advisor.

  • New Offering Statement available

    by Ben Gibbons | Aug 31, 2015

    We’ve made enhancements to the Direct 529 Plan.

    On Friday, June 19th, we made improvements to five investment options in the CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Plan and automatically exchanged these options. We also enhanced the ready-made portfolios and introduced a new investment option. In addition, the OTTA fee went from 0.04% to 0.02%.

    In early July, we will mail an updated Offering Statement and Participation Agreement to all CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Plan Account Owners who have not opted in for e-delivery of statements, plan updates, and transactional confirmations. The new Offering Statement includes details on all of the enhancements listed above. If you’ve opted in for e-delivery or don’t want to wait till July, you can access the new Offering Statement and Participation Agreement today here.

    If you’d like to sign-up for e-delivery, just log in to your account and click on Account Maintenance.

  • It’s Graduation Season Again!

    by Ben Gibbons | Aug 31, 2015

    Graduation season is the time of year when families and friends come together to celebrate accomplishments of completion along the educational path. It means one has put in the necessary work to move on to the next phase of their life. Graduation comes in various forms of celebration—from those darling preschool graduation ceremonies as little ones head to elementary school, the middle school “clap outs” as parents recognize students on their way to high school and the big events of graduating from high school, college and beyond in lifelong learning pursuits.

    The graduation ceremony is like a rite of passage that schools and families honor with tradition.  There are so many customs that help make a graduation ceremony special; from the cap and gown, to the colors associated with colleges and degrees, academic achievements and awards, the infamous “Pomp and Circumstance,” the guest speaker and let’s not forget about the traditional tassel turn and the final tossing of the graduation hats! 

    Annually, students and families sit through lengthy ceremonies filled with speeches, music and songs, special presentations, the parade of graduates, and more just to hear those final words of “congratulations graduates”! We do all this because the accomplishment of graduation is significant and important in one’s life. 

    Students leave their graduation ceremonies with memories of how they got to this point and fresh ideas about what they plan to do next. Many also take this opportunity to thank those who helped them get to this day; sometimes with a message of thanks taped to their cap for all to see! For parents, family and friends who supported the student in their efforts, graduation time is one full of pride and celebration.

    During this time of year, when the official ceremonies are concluding and the graduation parties are taking place, we can reflect about our own educational achievements and how we might encourage and support our loved ones in the pursuit of their dreams. Graduation season is also a good time to consider starting or adding to a 529 college savings plan for the young ones in your life. It’s never too soon, or too late, to help get a child on the path to college graduation.

    In celebration of graduation season, NBC News recently aired a video: Class of 2015: A Roundup of Our Favorite Commencement Speeches. “In a salute to the graduates embarking on the next chapter of their lives, here are some of the best pieces of advice handed to the class of 2015.” (NBC News, May 29, 2015)

    The video is a perfect fit to the essence of this post. Enjoy!

    (Originally published on the College Savings Plans Network Blog June 8, 2015)

  • 25th Anniversary Giveaway Winners Announced!

    by Ben Gibbons | Aug 31, 2015

    Here at CollegeAdvantage, we recently wrapped up our 25th Anniversary Giveaway! To celebrate our 25th Anniversary, we designed a promotion to celebrate 25 years of college savings by giving $2,500 College Savings Awards to 10 lucky people! Our giveaway, which ran from April 6th to May 29th, 529 Day, was open to account owners and non-account owners alike.

    Here’s the list of the 10 lucky people randomly selected June 2*:

    1. Bruce Bergstresser
    2. Nicole Badik
    3. Pamela Price
    4. Holly Bergman
    5. Gary Ford
    6. Resham Bains
    7. Patrick Elder
    8. Andy Hackman
    9. Fred Pabian
    10. Sean Merrill

    Winners who already own CollegeAdvantage Direct Plan accounts will use the awards to boost their ongoing savings. Those winners who are not current account owners, will open accounts and use their awards to get a jump start on their college savings!

    Thank you to everyone who participated. Congratulations to all our winners!

    *If your name is listed here as a winner and you have not yet contacted CollegeAdvantage, please do so now so that you don’t risk forfeiting your award. Call 614-752-9400 and ask for Judy. Please note that the list of winners is subject to change.

  • Important Plan Changes Coming June 19, 2015

    by Ben Gibbons | Aug 31, 2015

    We are pleased to announce even more advantages for our Direct Plan account owners. Coming on June 19th, we are improving five investment options to either more directly reflect a particular asset class or to lower your investment costs. These five investment options will be automatically exchanged for you. We are further enhancing the ready-made portfolios, introducing a new investment option, and reducing the OTTA fee for all investment options from 0.04% to 0.02%. > READ MORE 

  • Grandmother Wins $10,000 College Savings Award

    by Michele Schuck | Aug 17, 2015

    Announcing the winners of the CollegeAdvantage / Cincinnati Bengals Kickoff College Savings Giveaway!

    Our third Annual Kickoff College Savings Giveaway with the Bengals ended recently. This Giveaway began October 2 and ended December 8. During that time we received more than 14,000 entries!

    Our Grand Prize Winner, Lisa Hipke, has won a $10,000 College Savings Award! Lisa will be presented with the award this Monday night, December 22, before the Bengals-Broncos game at Paul Brown Stadium. Lisa will be using her award to kickoff college savings for her four grandchildren!

    The Second Place Winner, Laura White, has won a visit from a Bengals team member to one of her children’s schools. Our runners-up will receive autographed Bengals memorabilia and other prizes from the Bengals.

    Here’s the list of the 20 lucky people who were randomly selected on December 9, 2014:

    Grand Prize Winner: Lisa Hipke, Wilmington

    Second Place Winner: Laura White, Cincinnati

    Runners-Up: Autographed Bengals Memorabilia

    • Mary Jo French, Perrysburg
    • Andy Yantes, Austintown
    • Tatum Burritt, Dayton
    • Donna Ely, Maineville
    • Lois Padovani, Downers Grove, IL
    • Michelle Vilagi, North Ridgeville
    • Brendan Nenni, Hudson
    • Jennifer Martin, Whitehouse
    • Kelly Jones-Swenson, Blacklick
    • Brian Haynes, Springfield

    Runners-Up: Bengals Prize

    • Adam Chasko, Boardman
    • Donald Marchok, Columbus
    • Catherine Larsen, Strongsville

    Thank you to everyone who participated. Congratulations to all our winners*!

    If your name is listed here as a winner and you have not yet contacted CollegeAdvantage, please do so now so that you don’t risk forfeiting your award. Call 1-800-AFFORD-IT (233-6734).

    *Please note that the list of winners is subject to change.


  • Our Story Isn’t Over Yet!

    by User Not Found | Aug 14, 2015

    My ongoing relationship with CollegeAdvantage began 25 years ago with the death of my beloved grandmother. When she passed at the age of 90, I was a young mother of two preschoolers teaching full time in Ohio's public schools and struggling to fit my own graduate school courses into my already overflowing life. I thought there might be just a small inheritance, knowing how hard she had struggled through the Depression, and had envisioned possibly being able to purchase and plant a commemorative tree. Much to my surprise she left me $2,000!

    Always the person looking for a bargain; I had been paying close attention to the news about Ohio's new plan to help parents pay for college. And though there were sooooo many things I would have liked to buy with that "found" money, I knew that the best way to honor my grandmother's memory was (at this moment tears are literally streaming down my face reliving those feelings) was to invest in her great-grandchildren's future!

    Money was always tight as I was raising my children and many times I was tempted, but I never touched that money. Ever. And it grew.

    By the time my eldest had reached college age, her portion of that initial helped her to attend John Carroll University. But our story wasn't over yet. My daughter graduated from John Carroll University with a B.S. in Chemistry. Then she went on to earn another B.S. in Nursing at Ursuline College and is now pursuing a Masters in Nursing as a Family Nurse Practitioner. Meanwhile CollegeAdvantage has been helping to finance her dreams every step of the way.

    While her sister did not make the same use of her educational opportunities, I was able to transfer her CollegeAdvantage fund to her sister's account to continue to finance her education without penalty (yet another “advantage” of CollegeAdvantage)! And our story is not over yet!

    I now have two grandchildren almost the same age as my daughters were when I started saving for them with CollegeAdvantage. For each of their first birthdays, I created accounts in their names with a substantial investment to each. As with the now two previous generations, accumulating a large initial investment was a struggle, but if there is ONE thing this family has always believed in it is education!

    With each grandchild, I worked a second part-time job for an entire year to come up with that money to start each account, and I have every intention of doing it again for every grandchild I am blessed with. I also now contribute monthly to those two accounts while still continuing to pay into my daughter's account as she pursues her Masters in Nursing. And there is still one more piece to this story!

    Every baby shower, birth announcement, and niece or nephew's birthday is celebrated with a contribution to CollegeAdvantage in their name. In the past year alone, we have delivered three CollegeAdvantage introductory packets to new parents with accompanying checks made out to the Ohio Tuition Trust Authority. We then explained the program to each of them and the audience of family and friends at their parties. Clothes and toys will be forgotten in a week; helping to pay for college will hopefully be remembered for a lifetime! And, the story continues... 

    Denise Monsman

    Mantua, Ohio

  • Retired And Still Saving After 25 Years

    by User Not Found | Apr 29, 2015

    It is amazing how just a modest amount of savings per month grows over the years. My husband and I started a savings program when our children started third grade. This savings supplemented the tuition for both of our daughters as they continued their education after graduating from high school.

    Our oldest daughter attended SAA (School of Advertising Art) and graduated with a graphics art degree. The college savings plan paid for her art supplies and books. She is the senior graphic designer at Oberweis Dairy in the Chicago area.

    Our other daughter used the college savings money for music supplies and books to help her with the music education degree she received at The Ohio State University. She is teaching orchestra in the Allen school district in Texas.

    We saw how a modest college savings plan greatly helped our children and decided to continue a savings program for all of our grandchildren when they too began their 3rd grade year of school.

    Our oldest grandchild has recently graduated from high school and plans on attending a trade school in carpentry. The second grandchild just started 3rdgrade, and we recently opened an account for him. We have two more grandchildren, ages 4 and 2. Plans are still set to begin their savings program when they reach third grade.

    My husband is a retired school administrator, and I am a retired school instrumental music teacher. Since we have always budgeted every month for someone’s college savings program for the past 25 years, it has become part of our budget and is not a financial burden as one would think. With being on retirement pay, we still can put aside a small monthly amount that will continue to help our extended family.

    The CollegeAdvantage program has and continues to invest our money wisely. We are fortunate that this program sees beyond the present and into the future for the wellbeing of our children and grandchildren.

    Michael L. and Joanne Shaffer

    Dayton, Ohio

  • We Believe In CollegeAdvantage

    by User Not Found | Apr 28, 2015

    Without a doubt, my husband and I both agree that putting our 2 children through college through the CollegeAdvantage program was the best financial decision we've ever made! We believed in the program so deeply, and we told everyone we knew about it! To this day, we continue to brag about our wise decision to utilize the CollegeAdvantage program!

    My husband and I are both graduates of Ohio State. He is a Veterinarian, and I am a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. It was a high priority of ours to save for our children's college education. The problem was, we didn't have much money. We went to an informational session in our community on the CollegeAdvantage program and we thought it was something we could afford if we worked on it little by little. In the beginning, it was a struggle. We often put our own savings on hold in order to pay into the program. Whenever grandparents or relatives gave us money for the girls for holidays or birthdays, we put it in the CollegeAdvantage account. Our girls were 3 and 5 years old when we began saving and it took us 14 years to fund their entire education, but it was well worth it for them to have no college debt! We were so proud of ourselves when we achieved our goal!

    Our oldest daughter was a Valedictorian and she went to Miami University. She graduated in three years summa cum laude in Botany. When she went on for her Master's degree in Environmental Science at Cleveland State University, she still had a full year of tuition she could use to pay for her graduate education! Having her first job and a new apartment, she had minimal funds and these savings served as a Godsend to her! Currently, she is an Environmental Specialist with the NE Ohio Regional Sewer District in Cleveland.

    Our youngest daughter went to Ohio State and graduated in Nursing. Interestingly, she became good friends with a girl whose parents also participated in the CollegeAdvantage Program! She has her Master's Degree and works as a Nurse Anesthetist at Deaconess Hospital in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

    We have a grandson now, and his first birthday is fast approaching! Our most important gift to him will be the opening of a CollegeAdvantage savings account for his future education. WE BELIEVE!!!!!!

    Mary Raab

    Waynesville, Ohio

  • CollegeAdvantage: Peace Of Mind

    by User Not Found | Apr 27, 2015

    It has been a pleasure to have participated in the CollegeAdvantage program for over 25 years. I have two children and started saving in the program when my oldest son was born and then set up an account for my daughter when she was born.

    My son went to the University of Toledo for one year and decided to open his own business (a gym). Since then, he has grown it in to an 8,000 square foot facility called Renegade Fitness in Sylvania, Ohio and is doing extremely well running the business with his wife.

    The nice thing about the CollegeAdvantage program is that I was able to rollover the funds in his account in to my daughter’s account for her future education. My daughter went to the University of Toledo for her freshman year and is now in her sophomore year at Middle Tennessee State University pursuing a music business degree. Another great aspect of participating in CollegeAdvantage is that these funds can go toward out-of-state tuition, which has helped out a lot since the out-of-state tuition is much higher than in-state.

    When my son and daughter in-law have children of their own, I will help them start a CollegeAdvantage savings account for my grandkids to help them plan for the future. I really appreciate that this plan was available for us. It has allowed me to have peace of mind knowing that I had funds to draw upon when my children were ready to go off to college. It has been much appreciated!

    Bradley E. Rhoades

    Canton, Michigan

  • My Father Started Our Tradition Of Saving

    by User Not Found | Apr 26, 2015

    My father, who was active in schools within Ohio, opened the first accounts for our daughters in 1990. He was excited to have a way to save money for his two granddaughters to go to college. The extended family of aunts, uncles, as well as my husband and I, hopped on board with that idea and we all were contributing to the girls' educational future. While the accounts were not long duration, they were extremely helpful as the girls began their college experiences.

    Both girls are graduates of Miami University in Oxford (1998, 1999), with degrees in Education and both are successful educators within schools here in Ohio. The bonus of all this was that both graduated with the help and caring of family without one dollar of student loans! The moneys contributed to their funds were "gifts forward" from the generations before them, all wanting them to have the chance to gain a college degree and become a productive citizen in society. The toy or game we might have purchased would have been played with or discarded in months, but the money we sent to CollegeAdvantage just kept on adding up. Both girls were thankful each time they received a card for any holiday with the short message, "we have sent a contribution to your college fund." 

    Now our daughters have opened CollegeAdvantage plans for their children. They both had seen the benefit of such a plan for themselves, and they wanted to have that for their own kids. So now my husband and I, the other aunts and uncles and grandparents are building the little kids’ future by those contributions each birthday or holiday. It is amazing to see their accounts grow. So now the four grandchildren are second generation CollegeAdvantage kids who will also have an opportunity to attend collegewithout accruing hefty college loans.

    Thanks for giving us this opportunity to share our story, and thank you for maintaining such a positive avenue for parents and families to save of their children's education. If our story helps one more family consider saving for the future of the children and grandchildren in their lives, then that is a good thing. We are thankful to my dad, Great Pa Chet, who started all of us on the path of education for the future. 

    Jeanie Roush Wolfe

    Kettering, Ohio

  • Lucky And Grateful

    by User Not Found | Apr 25, 2015

    I enrolled our son in the CollegeAdvantage program almost as soon as it became available. My husband and I researched the program and investigated similar programs in other states at the time.  We felt we couldn't go wrong!  Overall, the investment in this program was one of the best decisions we ever made for our son.  He graduated from college, debt free!  He is now able to put his income into brokerage accounts instead of paying college loans.  He knows how lucky he is and is grateful for the insight of his parents.

    I funded his tuition and room and board entirely from my earnings.  As a teacher, I knew a college education was the best gift I could ever provide.  It was a painless way to save for my son's future .. I had payroll deduction from my teacher paycheck directly to the fund.  I never missed the money and oh how proud I was when I received my statements and watched the contributions accumulate.

    This is a photo of our son at his graduation from the Columbus College of Art and Design.  He is currently working in his field at head graphic designer for Lima Memorial Health System.

    My husband and I have encouraged our nieces to set up the accounts for their children, and we have advised other couples with young children to do the same.  In fact, I served as a volunteer ambassador to the program back in the early days because I believed in it so much.

    Patricia Johnson

    Lima, Ohio

  • Don’t Procrastinate About Saving For College

    by User Not Found | Apr 24, 2015

    We feel old in light of the 25th anniversary of CollegeAdvantage, but then we are grandparents now! Our family has doubled since we opened that first college savings account. Now we have our two grown daughters plus a son-in-law and a grandson!

    Although it might have been easier to procrastinate about saving for college when the girls were young, we were disciplined and agreed about education being a priority. Our advice to young parents:  pay yourself first by starting a college savings account for your children. They will be your best legacy!

    We both worked and contributed to our own college, but hoped to make it easier on the girls by having saved at least half of what they would need. In addition to what we saved for them, both of our daughters worked and contributed to their educational expenses as well.

    Our eldest, earned her undergraduate in Elementary Education from Wright State University and her Masters at the University of Dayton. She’s been teaching 2nd grade for 7 years!  Our youngest, went to Eastern Kentucky University and earned her BSN in Nursing. Now she’s not only working full-time as an oncology nurse at the University of Kentucky’s Children’s Hospital, but also completing her Nurse Practitioner graduate degree through Northern Kentucky University. She graduates this summer!

    Obviously, we’re very proud of both daughters!

    Our grandson just celebrated his 1st birthday. The Dr. Seuss party theme was fitting since his Daddy and Mommy started a CollegeAdvantage fund for himjust weeks after he was born. So he’ll be . . .

    “. . . off to Great Places!
    Today is your day!
    Your mountain is waiting . . .” 
    ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You'll Go!


    Marcus and Lora Warwar

    Miamisburg, Ohio 

  • Grow Your Savings With Upromise, Too

    by User Not Found | Apr 23, 2015

    I am probably one of your longest-saving customers and still saving for my young son! Yes, I have a 6th grader currently! I have 2 daughters who are 16 and 14 years older than their brother and have already obtained their undergraduate and master’s degrees!

    We started saving for college when the girls were born. We began a portfolio of savings approaches, including CollegeAdvantage. We made a commitment and stuck to it. There were ups and downs in our investments and our careers, especially during the BIG economic downturn of the new millennium, but we stayed the course. Suddenly, college was looming for the girls, my husband and I were not employed, and surprise, our son came along! The first decade of the millennium was filled with stress as we tried to do it all - we were older parents caring for a baby, had 2 girls in college, moving and finding new jobs, and caring for elderly parents in end of life situations! There was no money to save for college anymore.

    We relied on PSEOP classes at OSU and Columbus State the girls took while they were in high school, college credits earned in high school through AP classes, scholarships, internships, loans, and our portfolio of college investments to get the girls through university. 

    Both girls have been very successful. Our oldest attended Miami University (OH) earning a BS in Education with French and Spanish K-12 certifications. She studied abroad in Spain, France, and Mexico, and also earned two Master’s degrees at BGSU. She is currently teaching French at Dublin Coffman and Dublin Scioto high schools. She says it is a bit weird to have her former teachers as peers and to be teaching siblings of her brother’s friends. She may even have her brother as a student in a couple years!

    Our younger daughter’s path has been similar. She graduated from the University of Miami (FL). Yes, a different Miami school! She graduated in 3 1/2 years from UM despite spending a summer studying in Hong Kong and China, and a semester abroad on a cruise ship through Semester At Sea. Her degree is a BS in Business in International Finance & Marketing with minors in French and Spanish. Currently, she is with Philosophy brand of Coty Inc. in NYC working as the Manager of Consumer Insights and Analytics. She hopes to get a Master’s degree at some point, too. 

    Our youngest is now 12 years old and in 6th grade. His graduation year is 2021. Wow! He receives a check for CollegeAdvantage each year for Christmas from his grandmother, who continues to add to his portfolio. We were also able to transfer some of the extra, leftover funds in both girls’ accounts to his CollegeAdvantage account, so he is well on his way.

    We also add to our savings with Upromise.com, a CollegeAdvantage partner. By shopping online through the UPromise website, we have added over $1,000 to his CollegeAdvantage Direct Plan account. Rebate checks from UPromise purchased books for my girls while they were in college. It is a great partnership that we continue to use.

    Discipline to start saving monthly via payroll or checking account deductions is a must to meet financial goals to fund college tuition. Being willing to take a risk with investments and having time on your side is another must for young families. Looking for other resources such as UPromise.com, loans, scholarships, and the like are due diligence activities that all parents should take to fulfill their goals. 

    Thanks Ohio and CollegeAdvantage for great programs to save and making college affordable to all. CollegeAdvantage has been a great resource/investment for us and definitely enabled us to fulfill our dreams of providing a college education for our children.

    Barbara and Robert Humphrey

    Dublin, Ohio

  • We Did What Our Parents Did For Us

    by User Not Found | Apr 22, 2015

    My wife, Denise, and I had tremendous support from our parents which allowed us to attend college and law school, graduating from both with almost no debt. We married immediately after we passed the Ohio Bar Exam in 1981 and within 4 ½ years were proud parents of three beautiful children; four years later came another one.  We never questioned whether or not our children would go to college. We were both successful in our careers. We knew we would need to save for college but never, ever imagined how expensive college would ultimately be.

    When we first learned of the CollegeAdvantage program, we immediately enrolled each of our children (well, the youngest might have had to wait until he was born!) and then we invested aggressively. We lived well but within our means. We did not drive expensive cars and buy a lot of luxury items. But we did funnel any extra money we had into the CollegeAdvantage accounts. When grandparents gave the kids money for their birthdays, we invested that, too, noting that the house was already overwhelmed with toys. Ultimately, we were able to have enough for four years of in-state college tuition and fees saved for each of our kids. This created a tremendous amount of peace of mind for Denise and me, as we knew that whatever happened to us or to our careers, the kids would have their educations.

    In the end, our oldest graduated from the University of Notre Dame, and the other three graduated from my alma mater, Bucknell University. Our oldest went on to graduate from the University of Toledo College of Law and our other daughter is currently in a master’s program in Educational Administration at the University of Dayton. We are proud of our children and thankful that we were able to give them the same educational opportunities that we had been given.

    The CollegeAdvantage funds did not cover everything, and I have to tell you that I was a little stressed the year that we had three kids in college at the same time, but we could never have accomplished this without CollegeAdvantage. So, it is my pleasure to send this email sharing our appreciation for the program.

    And there is a very happy final chapter to our story. Our oldest and her husband have blessed us with two beautiful granddaughters. Although they live in Atlanta, they were both enrolled in CollegeAdvantage as soon as they were born and they will share the benefits of this program!

    Stuart Cubbon

    Toledo, Ohio

  • Team Effort To Savings

    by User Not Found | Apr 21, 2015

    Sometime in early 1990, I attended an Ohio Tuition Trust Authority seminar in Lakewood, Ohio. We decided that an early savings plan would be the only way that we could afford to send three children to college, virtually at the same time. For the next dozen years, we took no vacations etc., and put any extra money that we had into the CollegeAdvantage plan. Additionally, our children started with paper routes and worked through high school, and that extra money also went toward college. It was genuinely a team effort.

    Both of our daughters graduated from The Ohio State University. One has a degree in Occupational Therapy and is currently an operations manager with a contract rehab service company in Toledo. Our other daughter graduated with a degree in Psychology and then a Psychology Doctorate. She is part of the psychology staff at the VA Center in Louisville, Kentucky. Our son went another direction, but is very successful in his own right.

    We have two suggestions for families: save early and do your best to get your children out with as little debt as possible and with a meaningful degree that leads to good career opportunities.

    We’re pleased to have this opportunity to tell our story and to help others.

    Robert and Cynthia Forest

    Estero, FL 

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