• Just A Reminder: Don’t Forget About FAFSA

    by Amy Lyle | Jan 20, 2017

    Your high school senior has mailed off their college applications and now it’s your turn to do some paperwork: Have you filled out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)? If your child is heading off to college this fall, you should start the New Year off right and apply now. The FAFSA process began in October but it’s never too late to apply for federal financial aid.

    FAFSA is the form you and your child must complete to apply for need-based federal financial support while attending four-year colleges and universities, community colleges, vocational schools, and graduate schools. This assistance can include grants, which don’t have to be repaid; federal low-interest loans, which will need to be repaid; and work-study programs. The financial aid is offered on first-come, first-serve basis; so the sooner your child submits a FAFSA, the better the chances are to receive federal monetary assistance.

    If your child is gifted academically, artistically, or athletically, and you’re planning that they’ll earn scholarships for their specialized skill set, you should still apply for need-based federal financial aid. Quite often, scholarships will not cover the entire cost of a college education. And your CollegeAdvantage 529 account can easily be used in conjunction with financial aid and scholarships.

    Here’s another reason why you should fill in the FAFSA: States, universities, colleges, and private organizations will use FAFSA to determine what grants or loans to offer to eligible students interested in attending their school system.

    To simplify the application process, starting with the 2017-2018 school year application, you can now use the information found on income tax return from two years ago, known as “prior-prior year.” For this FAFSA, you will use the 2015 federal income tax filings. With the “prior-prior year” tax return, you can complete the application with most up-to-date financial information. Originally, FAFSA was filled out with the tax return information from the prior year and most families weren’t able to start their tax returns until well after the release of FAFSA. This slowed down the financial assistance process.

    The use of the “prior-prior year” tax return on FAFSA also benefits universities and colleges because it can reduce the time needed to verify asset information as the IRS already has it. Potentially, the schools can then more quickly determine and distribute their financial aid to students.

    Don’t overlook FAFSA even if you don’t think your child will qualify for any need-based financial aid. . You never know for what financial assistance your child might qualify to use with your CollegeAdvantage account. If you wait until your child is accepted at a higher education institute before applying, you could miss out on federal, state, and university-given monetary support.

    If you need help filling out FAFSA, the Ohio Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (OASFAA) offers online help as well as some in-person events across the state. 

  • New Year, New Resolutions

    by Amy Lyle | Jan 18, 2017

    Trying to get fiscally fit for 2017? Here are some simple steps to take to boost your CollegeAdvantage 529 college savings plan.

    1. Build Your Savings With Disappearing Expenses

    It may seem overwhelming at first to find money in your budget to add to a 529 plan while your children are young. But Ohio’s 529 Savings Program can help. Using our tools and calculators, you can start by determining your long-term college-savings goals and see the benefits of saving in a tax-advantaged 529 plan. You may also want to review how much of a difference saving early can make by taking advantage of growth through compound interest. After exploring all the options you have in a 529 account, set aside what you can afford now and then focus on the disappearing expenses in your budget as your children grow older.

    Disappearing expenses are those costs in your family’s budget for only a limited time span. For example, preschool is a large disappearing expense. Once your child starts kindergarten, consider transforming those former day care or preschool costs into regular contributions to their 529 account. You won’t miss the funds and you are continuing to support your child’s educational needs.

    Other disappearing expenses can include paying off a car loan, medical or dental bills, credit card debt, or even your own student loans. Again, these items have been part of your budget so you aren’t losing any additional income by shifting those dollars to a 529 account. As you know from paying off those bills, it’s far cheaper to save now than pay off loans later.

    Many account owners will also contribute a portion of an annual raise, bonus, or even their tax return refund towards a 529 plan. You may be surprised how every little amount you place in the 529 account can grow it closer to your college-savings goals.

    2. Build Your Savings With Help From Others

    It may be after the holiday gift-giving season, but keep in mind that anyone can contribute to a 529 plan at any time for any occasion — birthdays, graduations, even baby showers. Most everyone would prefer to give gifts that retain long-standing value, not the newest toy or clothes that can quickly be forgotten.

    Start a conversation your loved ones about giving the gift of college by contributing to your child’s 529 plan. CollegeAdvantage has partnered with Ugift, a company which creates a unique code to give to family and friends so they can make a contribution to your 529 without having the account number. This gift of college is a legacy that will always be treasured and appreciated.

    3. Build Your Savings With Automatic Contributions

    It’s an oldie but a goodie savings method: Take away the temptation to spend money by automatically depositing it into your 529 savings account. Many 529 plan account owners say the easiest way to save is to routinely transfer the money before there’s a chance to spend it elsewhere. And you can simplify this process by setting up automatic recurring contributions from your bank account or paycheck. You can align your automated 529 plan deposits with your paydays or set a monthly contribution schedule.

    4. Build Your Savings While Shopping With Upromise

    CollegeAdvantage has partnered with Upromise* to help you save more for college without any extra effort. Upromise is a free loyalty program that offers its members cash back for their purchases from a wide variety of businesses partners. When you connect your debit and/or credit card to your Upromise account, you can start earning rewards with your everyday shopping. You can then link your Upromise account to your CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Plan account to roll over these rebates.

    Participating businesses include over 850 online retail stores and 10,000 restaurants at which Upromise members can earn 5% cash back. Others organizations include over 20,000 grocery and drug stores, where you can not only earn money back for your everyday purchases but earn additional rebates by using eCoupons as well. You can collect more cash back as you book your travel arrangements, including airfare, hotels, car rentals and more, through Upromise participants.

    Would you like to see how others used Upromise? Read this Saving Story from a CollegeAdvantage family who used it to add to their 529 savings.

    Interested in joining? Visit Upromise to sign up for free. Already an Upromise member? Log in to your account and link it to your CollegeAdvantage Direct Plan and watch your account grow with automatic transfers of your rewards. Every dollar you spend with Upromise can get you closer to your college savings goal.

    CollegeAdvantage is your plan, your way. We have the tools for you to shape your 529 plan to best fit your family’s needs. If you are ready to start with Ohio’s 529 Savings Program, it’s easy to open an account here. CollegeAdvantage also has pointers on age-based strategies based on in which stage of life your child is. If you already have an account and want to make some changes, log in to your account to update information or do other maintenance.

    * Upromise is an optional service offered by Upromise, Inc., as an added value to CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Plan Account Owners. Upromise is separate from the CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Plan and is not affiliated with the Ohio Tuition Trust Authority of the State of Ohio. Participation in Upromise is optional and voluntary. Specific terms and conditions apply. Participating companies, contribution levels, terms, and conditions are subject to change without notice. Upromise and the Upromise logo are registered service marks of Upromise, Inc.

  • Office Closed for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

    by Amy Lyle | Jan 13, 2017

    The offices of the Ohio Tuition Trust Authority will be closed on Monday, Jan. 16, 2017, in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

    Our Customer Service department (1-800-AFFORD-IT) will also be closed on this day. Customer Service is available to assist you on regular business days from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET before or after a specific holiday. Please be aware that you may transact business online as usual. To make a contribution, you can access your account online 24/7.

    The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) will also be closed on Monday, Jan. 16, 2017. Any transaction requested on a holiday, weekend, or after the NYSE closes will be processed on the next business day.

    If you’re interested in how the State of Ohio is commemorating Dr. King and the holiday, read more here. Ohio History Center will honor Dr. King with a Civil Rights Weekend. The King Arts Complex in Columbus will also host an open house to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy.

    Here’s a list of events celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. around Canton, central Ohio, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, northeast Ohio, and Toledo.

     

  • Direct Plan’s “Top Ten” Investment Options

    by Amy Lyle | Jan 11, 2017

    CollegeAdvantage is your plan, your way. The Direct Plan from Ohio’s 529 Savings Program offers a diverse range of investment options from which you can create a strategy that is best fits your family’s needs as well as your college-saving goals. These 529 saving options include ready-made age-based portfolios, ready-made risk-based portfolios, individual investment options, and FDIC-insured banking options, all provided from our partners and leading investment managers — Vanguard, Dimensional Fund Advisors, and Fifth Third Bank.

    Are you wondering which ones are the most popular with Direct Plan account owners? We’ve gathered that data into a “Top Ten” list so you can see which investment options hold the largest balances of customer’s Direct Plan accounts.

    Here are the 10 investment options with the highest value of assets under management (fund balances in millions, as of Dec. 31, 2016):

    1. Vanguard Aggressive Age-Based Portfolio (ready-made age-based portfolio), $1,004.94
    2. Vanguard Moderate Age-Based Portfolio (ready-made age-based portfolio), $637.09
    3. Advantage Age-Based Portfolio (ready-made age-based portfolio), $524.04
    4. Vanguard 500 Index Option (individual investment option), $458.40
    5. Vanguard Aggressive Growth Index Portfolio (ready-made risk-based portfolio), $366.50
    6. Vanguard Growth Index Portfolio (ready-made risk-based portfolio), $231.90
    7. Vanguard Extended Market Index Option (individual investment option), $208.99
    8. Vanguard Wellington Option (individual investment option), $193.74
    9. Vanguard Moderate Growth Index Portfolio (ready-made risk-based portfolio), $166.53
    10. Fifth Third Savings Account (FDIC-insured bank option), $152.12

    The total balance of all 24 investment options offered in the CollegeAdvantage Direct Plan as of Dec. 31, 2016, was $4.854 billion, an increase of 12.4% over the prior year (as of Dec. 31, 2015).

    Learn more about our investment options and review their performance. After you do so, it might be time to review your college-savings goals or open an account!

    Please Note:
    CollegeAdvantage is a 529 college savings plan offered and administered by the Ohio Tuition Trust Authority, an office within the Ohio Department of Higher Education. Before investing, please read the Offering Statement and all Supplements carefully and consider risks, fees, your investment objectives, and other relevant factors, before investing. If you are not a taxpayer in the State of Ohio, you should consider whether your home state offers any state tax or other benefits for investing in its 529 Plan. Other than the Fifth Third Investment Options (Banking Options), money contributed to an Account is not a bank deposit and is not insured by the FDIC or guaranteed in any way. Except for contributions invested in Banking Options, participants assume all investment risk related to the CollegeAdvantage Direct Plan, including the potential loss of Principal. Contributions invested in Banking Options are an obligation of Fifth Third Bank and are insured by the FDIC, subject to certain limitations. 

  • A New Year, A New College Savings Story

    by Ben Gibbons | Jan 10, 2017

    We regularly receive and share College Savings Stories from CollegeAdvantage account owners. Here’s a story in the words of a father.

    This is Ava. She’s 3 years old. Cute, huh? Sorry … I’m her dad … I’m biased :-)

    As most parents will tell you, their children bring them tremendous happiness – far greater than words can describe. Their looks, their hugs, their kisses … the way they laugh … the way they talk … even the way they cry. Children fill our hearts with joy and keep those around them youthful.

    My 
    wife and I are thankful for those gifts (ones that Ava gives us each and every day) and we try to return the favor the best way we know how: by being loving, responsible parents. Participating in the CollegeAdvantage program gives us that opportunity.

    One Saturday morning, we were in the middle of our usual family routine: Ava eating breakfast, mommy getting a little extra snooze time (she deserves it), and daddy plugging away at the monthly budget on his laptop. As I was getting ready to make a deposit into Ava’s CollegeAdvantage account, I looked up to check on her. She flashed her cute little grin, showed me her spoon, and held the pose long enough for me to snap a photo. Then she asked, “Whatchya doin’, dad?”

    I’m not sure 
    what it was that made me stop and think before I answered her that morning, but I’m really glad I did. The natural, quick response would have been: I’m just depositing some money.

    Instead, I said, 
    “I’m giving you a gift, honey.” She smiled … and in random 3-year-old fashion, she yelled: “Go, Ava, Go!” I laughed.

    It may sound simple … maybe even a little silly … but it was a special moment. A reminder that we’re doing more than simply depositing money. We’re giving our daughter a life-long gift. It’s a good feeling. Having a plan is a good feeling. CollegeAdvantage has enabled that.

    Go, Ava, Go … indeed!

    Patrick and Brooke Walters (Dublin, Ohio)

    Interested in sharing your family’s College Savings Story? Just e-mail us at ​alyle@CollegeAdvantage.com.

    This Saving Story first posted on Jan. 5, 2016.
  • CollegeAdvantage Direct Plan At Top Of 5-Cap Ratings And 529 Plan Rankings

    by Amy Lyle | Jan 06, 2017

    Ohio’s Direct 529 Plan, offered by CollegeAdvantage, has earned the top 5-Cap Rating from Savingforcollege.com, an industry-trusted informational website which provides analysis and articles on 529 plans, financial aid, and scholarships, as well as tools to estimate college expenses.

    CollegeAdvantage continues to be one of the few 529 plans nationwide to receive the 5-Cap Rating for both in-state and out-of-state residents. In fact, the Ohio Direct Plan was one of only four states to receive this dual recognition in the most recent ratings.

    Savingforcollege.com awards their 5-Cap Rating to plans that offer” outstanding flexibility, attractive investments, and additional economic benefits (such as generous tax incentives) that can offer a substantial boost in savings for some investors. There are few, if any, weaknesses in these programs.”

    The rating is based on five criteria:

    1. The performance of the 529 plan;
    2. The costs of running the college-savings plan including expense ratios, administration and managerial fees;
    3. Special features such as a spectrum of age-based and risk-based portfolios as well as FDIC-insured options, participation in programs like Upromise and Ugift, and contribution restrictions;
    4. Reliability signals such as plan disclosure statements, the ease of making account changes, and the caliber of outside program managers; and
    5. Extra advantages like tax benefits for any account owner as well as additional tax breaks for state residents.

    CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Plan was also recognized by Savingforcollege.com in its most recent performance rankings. The performance score was determined by comparing seven similar asset-allocation categories between all the 529 plans, the historical performance of each selected portfolio category, and then averaging the score of all the groupings. The rankings were then based on one-year, three-year, five-year and ten-year performance scores.

    The CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Plan ranked tenth in the one-year category; fourth for three-year performance; sixth for five-year performance; and third in the ten-year performance category, as of Sept. 30, 2016.*

    As Tim Gorrell, the executive director of Ohio Tuition Trust Authority stated, “We ask people to trust us with their resources and our ability to assist them in realizing their higher education goals; these rankings, based on respected independent industry analysis, demonstrates the credibility of our programs and encourages this principle of trust.”

    CollegeAdvantage is proud to have earned these high ratings from this reputable investment research organization.

    Interested to learn more about College Advantage, Ohio’s 529 Savings Plan? Then read more here. To set up a highly rated Direct Plan account with CollegeAdvantage, go here.

     

    * Please note: The performance data underlying these rankings represent past performance and are not a guarantee of future performance.

  • Kickoff College Savings Giveaway Winners Announced!

    by Amy Lyle | Dec 19, 2016

    Our fifth annual Kickoff College Savings Giveaway with the Cincinnati Bengals ended recently. This giveaway ran from Sept. 11 to Dec. 4, 2016. During that time, we received more than 16,500 entries!

    Our grand prize winner, Amanda Moss, won the $10,000 college savings award! Amanda was presented the award Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016, at the 50-yard line of Paul Brown Stadium, before the Bengals took on the Pittsburgh Steelers. Amanda will be using her award to continue her education in speech pathology and audiology with minors in psychology and gerontology. After she finishes her undergraduate studies, Amanda plans to earn her doctorate degree in audiology to test her patients’ hearing ability and find their best fit solution. And she adds, “I am very grateful to have been chosen for the scholarship and will contribute it towards my goal of becoming an audiologist. Go Bengals!”

    The second-place winner, Rob Cordes, is the lucky winner of a visit from a Bengals team member to his grandson’s school. Our runners-up will receive autographed Bengals memorabilia and other prizes from the Bengals.

    Here’s the list of the 15 lucky people who were randomly selected as winners:

    Grand prize winner: Amanda Moss, Youngstown

    Second place winner: Rob Cordes, Amelia

    Runners-Up: Autographed Bengals Memorabilia

    • Karen Axelrad, Miamisburg
    • Austin Ward, McArthur
    • Ann Tepley, Norwalk
    • Patrick Walters, Dublin
    • Brian Collins, Mansfield
    • Andy Yantes, Youngstown
    • Marianne Landfried, Niles
    • Adam Mezzacapo, Norton
    • Christopher Bennett, Columbus
    • Megan Higgins, Newark 


    Runners-Up: Bengals Prize

    • Jen Sanicky, Stow
    • Michael Carter, Columbus
    • Derek McNutt, Maineville

    Thank you to everyone who participated. Congratulations to Amanda and 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! Email the communications coordinator, Amy Lyle, at alyle@CollegeAdvantage.com.

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

  • How To Avoid Mistakes With Your 529 Withdrawal

    by Amy Lyle | Dec 16, 2016

    NOTE: This is information for CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Plan accounts only. The process is different for Guaranteed Plan accounts. Here’s guidance for withdrawals from the Guaranteed Plan.

    You’re in a rush, trying to get through today’s to-do list when you look at the last item –paying your child’s college tuition bill. As you start your Direct 529 Plan withdrawal request, CollegeAdvantage has some pointers on how to avoid mistakes that may cost you in the long run.

    1) To start, create a payment timeline to follow before completing the withdrawal request form. It’s better to prepare this timetable now than to accrue late fees at the end of the process. Two time constraints that should be included in this schedule are:

    • The time it will take for the 529 Plan withdrawal to be deposited into your bank account. If you make your 529 withdrawal request online, then you can expect funds to be received by your bank within three to five business days after the date of the request. However, if you choose to use a paper withdrawal request form, it is potentially the slowest withdrawal method and you will need to plan accordingly to make sure your payment arrives on time.
    • The time it will take for the school to receive then process your funds. Most schools have an electronic payment option as well as traditional procedures. Check with your school’s bursar office for details as payment processing times will vary. You will want to know how long this stage will take so you can start the withdrawal early to prevent penalties. Additionally, electing to pay your bill electronically will be the fastest method of remittance. (Reminder: If you elect to have the funds sent directly to the school from your CollegeAdvantage account, these are only sent as checks.)

    2) Next, you will want to check that your banking information on your CollegeAdvantage Direct Plan is correct and up to date. For security purposes, this information must be on file with your CollegeAdvantage account(s) for at least 15 business days before you can make a request. No withdrawals will be processed during this time period. Log in to your 529 account and use the “Asset Management” menu to verify, or add, your bank account information in the “Manage Banks” section. If you don’t review this information before the withdrawal request, you may be adding unnecessary delays to receiving your funds.

    3) The simplest and quickest method to request a withdrawal of your 529 funds is by doing it online.  It’s also the most accurate: by entering the information in the online withdrawal process, you minimize the chances of any errors being entered — unless you mistype —and you won’t be able to submit the form until it’s fully completed. Paper withdrawal forms run the risk of illegibility or other errors, slowing the withdrawal process down until the information can be verified. Also, the online withdrawal process expedites the deposit of the withdrawal to either your bank account or directly to the eligible education institution.

    4) Your withdrawal must be for 529-qualified higher education expenses. These eligible expenses include: tuition, mandatory fees, computer equipment and related technology and services, books, supplies, and equipment required for enrollment or attendance; room and board costs during any academic period the beneficiary is enrolled at least half-time; and certain expenses for a special-needs student. As such, these withdrawals are not subject to federal or state income taxes.

    Avoid the mistake of withdrawing funds to cover any costs other than these qualified higher education expenses; it will be considered a non-qualified withdrawal. Some examples are transportations costs, insurance, fees and equipment that are not required for enrollment, parking tickets, library fines, and payment for student loans. As a non-qualified withdrawal, a 10% federal tax penalty will be imposed on the earnings portion of the withdrawal. You will also owe federal and state income taxes on the earnings.

    5) If your child earns a scholarship, you can withdraw up to the same dollar amount as the scholarship from the 529 plan. This will be a non-qualified withdrawal but only the earnings portion will be subject to federal and state income taxes. Normally, there would be an additional 10% federal tax penalty on the earnings; however, since this withdrawal is due to a scholarship, the tax penalty will not be imposed. However, if you mistakenly make a withdrawal over the dollar amount of the scholarship, the overage will have the 10% federal tax penalty as well as federal and state income taxes levied on the earnings portion.

    If your student has other qualified expenses that the scholarship doesn’t cover, you can instead use your account to cover these qualified expenses. As with any other qualified withdrawal, this type of withdrawal would not be subject to federal or state income taxes, or the 10% penalty.

    These are just a few suggestions on what missteps to avoid with 529 plan withdrawals. If you have any questions during the process, please visit our website or call CollegeAdvantage Customer Service at 1-800-AFFORD-IT (233-6734). 

  • How To Pay Other 529 Eligible Expenses

    by Amy Lyle | Dec 14, 2016

    NOTE: This is the process for CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Plan accounts only. The process is different for Guaranteed Plan accounts. Here’s guidance for withdrawals from the Guaranteed Plan.

    Summer is cruising on by and back-to-school time is fast approaching. It’s also the time of the year when CollegeAdvantage 529 Plan account owners prepare to make withdrawals to cover their children’s 529-qualified higher education expenses. CollegeAdvantage is here to give you some guidance on the best methods for making those withdrawals, especially those that aren’t paid to the school.

    First, begin the withdrawal transaction online. By initiating the request online, you are taking advantage of the fastest and most accurate method of accessing funds from your 529 plan account. However, if you prefer to manually fill in the paperwork, CollegeAdvantage offers a Withdrawal Request Form. Just be aware that it is potentially the slowest process to withdrawal money from your 529.

    As you are preparing to pay a qualified higher education expense, consider where you would like the 529 funds deposited: your bank account, your student’s bank account, or have the check mailed directly to school, you or the beneficiary.

    For example, if the school lists your child’s room and board on the bill, you have the option of requesting that CollegeAdvantage mail the check directly to the school. However, if your child’s living expenses are separated from their tuition and fees expenses, then you will need to pay the property manager (or landlord, or fraternity/sorority, etc.) directly. For this and other off-campus housing, withdraw the needed funds from your CollegeAdvantage account. The money can be directly deposited to your or the beneficiary’s bank account, or CollegeAdvantage can mail a check directly to you or the beneficiary to cover the costs. Then you can pay the upcoming bill. Please keep in mind the bank account that you would like the withdrawal to be deposited into must be on your CollegeAdvantage account for a minimum of 15 days prior to the withdrawal.

    What if you’ve already paid for some 529-qualified higher education expenses, such as books, mandatory fees, or the bill for your student’s internet access? You can reimburse these qualified costs from your 529 plan! Be sure to hold onto the receipts and bills to keep track of what you spent. Once you have a final total, request a 529 withdrawal for that amount. You can have it deposited to your bank account to compensate for the payment of the qualified expenses.

    If you would like additional guidance on making 529 withdrawals to pay tuition or room and board, please read this article for suggestions. If you’re concerned about avoiding mistakes on your withdrawal, this blog can guide you.

  • Grow Your Savings With Upromise, Too

    by User Not Found | Dec 13, 2016

    In 2015, CollegeAdvantage celebrated its 25th anniversary. In honor of this milestone, many longtime account owners shared their Saving Stories and how using CollegeAdvantage helped them achieve their goals. We are fortunate to have these encouraging stories of how families prioritized their children’s higher education and are sharing them again. 

    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 U​promise website, we have added over $1,000 to his CollegeAdvantage Direct Plan account. Rebate checks from U​promise 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 U​promise.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

     
    This Saving Story was first published on April 23, 2015.
  • Guaranteed Plan Withdrawals For Tuition Payments

    by Amy Lyle | Dec 12, 2016

    Summer days are drifting away. And with school days drawing near, you need to prepare for your Guaranteed 529 Plan withdrawals to cover your child’s qualified higher education expenses. CollegeAdvantage recommends that you plan ahead so that you know exactly how you will process your withdrawal request and pay your school’s tuition bill. It’s better to prepare now than be caught off-guard by tuition payment deadlines.

    Effective Aug. 11, 2016, the payout rates for the CollegeAdvantage Guaranteed 529 Savings Plan are*:

    Tuition Unit: $102.35

    Tuition Credit: $​117.70

    With your Guaranteed Plan account, there are several ways to request a withdrawal to pay for expenses. You can request a withdrawal online; there are two online methods for making a withdrawal for tuition and other qualifie​d expenses. Additionally, you can mail in a paper withdrawal form to start the process. Here are some helpful tips for each process.

    1) Request a withdrawal is paid directly to your school.

    Using the online account management system, you can request that CollegeAdvantage pay your withdrawal directly to the school. When using this method, keep in mind that CollegeAdvantage pays schools by sending a paper check through the U.S. Post Service. Depending on their delivery schedule as well as the school’s paper-check processing procedures, this may cause delays in the payment. CollegeAdvantage is not responsible for any late fees charged by the school, so please plan ahead!

    If you still choose the paper check delivery directly to the school, you must do the following:

    • Provide CollegeAdvantage with the correct eligible educational institution’s address where the check should be sent.
    • Provide your beneficiary’s name and school ID number on the withdrawal request so the school knows to whom to credit the payment.
    • Allow at least an additional 10 business days after the date of your online withdrawal request for the check to arrive at the school. Remember, the school will also need additional time to process the payment to your student’s expenses so be aware of any time constraints as you start the withdrawal process.


    2) Request a withdrawal is paid directly to your bank account.

    The fastest way to pay tuition is to make your online withdrawal payable directly to your bank account. Then, use the funds from your bank account to pay your school using the school’s preferred electronic method.

    Here are some other instructions you should know:

    Log in to your CollegeAdvantage Guaranteed Plan account and click on Withdraw Funds.

    • Withdrawals requested online before 4 p.m. ET on business days will be processed by CollegeAdvantage overnight. It may take additional time for your bank to show the 529 withdrawal as being deposited. Typically, this is between 3-5 business days from your request date.

    • Once you receive your electronic withdrawal deposited to your bank account, use your college’s online payment system to pay your tuition from your bank account. Most schools have their own electronic tuition payment process, as well as other forms of acceptable payment. Payment processing times will vary according to the school. Confirm the processing details with your school’s bursar or financial office. You should ask what the school’s time frame is so to promptly begin the withdrawal procedure to avoid any penalties. Again, CollegeAdvantage is not responsible for any late fees charged by the school, so please plan ahead!

    3) Request a withdrawal by mail.

    You can also complete your withdrawal, whether payable to you, the beneficiary or the school, via a Withdrawal Request Form. You can fill the form out on screen then print it. This form, as well as all other forms for the CollegeAdvantage Guaranteed 529 Savings Plan, can be downloaded here.

    Please keep in mind that mail delivery — to CollegeAdvantage, then to bank accounts and/or to the school — will increase the processing times outlined above. Remember, CollegeAdvantage is not responsible for any late fees charged by the school, so please plan ahead.

    Please note: Some Guaranteed Plan withdrawals cannot be processed online, and may require additional steps, which are listed on the Withdrawal Request Form. If you need additional help, please contact CollegeAdvantage’s Customer Service Department at 1-800-AFFORD-IT (233-6734), Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) or email CustomerService@CollegeAdvantage.com.

     

    *Please note that these numbers are subject to change once each of the Four-Year State Universities listed in ORC Section 3345.011, (which include: University of Akron, Bowling Green State University, Central State University, University of Cincinnati, Cleveland State University, Kent State University, Miami University, Ohio University, Ohio State University, Shawnee State University, University of Toledo, Wright State University, and Youngstown State University) have released their annual undergraduate tuition rates. We will publish the update rates as soon as we have them.

  • Build Your Savings While Shopping With Upromise

    by Amy Lyle | Dec 09, 2016

    CollegeAdvantage, Ohio’s 529 Savings Program, is partnered with Upromise* to help you save more for college without any extra effort. Upromise is a free loyalty program that offers its members cash back for their purchases from a wide variety of businesses partners. When you connect your debit and/or credit card to your Upromise account, you can start earning rewards with your everyday shopping. You can then link your Upromise account to your CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Plan account to roll over these rebates.

    Participating businesses include over 850 online retail stores and 10,000 restaurants at which Upromise members can earn 5% cash back. Others organizations include over 20,000 grocery and drug stores, where you can not only earn money back for your everyday purchases but earn additional rebates by using eCoupons as well. You can collect more cash back as you book your travel arrangements, including airfare, hotels, car rentals and more, through Upromise participants.

    Thus far in 2016, over $353,000 has been invested in CollgeAdvantage Direct 529 Plan accounts from the rewards account owners earned through this program. The number shows how something so simple can add up to significant savings. Every dollar you spend with Upromise can get you closer to your college savings goal.

    Would you like to see how others used Upromise? Read this Saving Story from a CollegeAdvantage family who used it to add to their 529 savings.

    Interested in joining? Visit www.Upromise.com/Ohio to sign up for free. Already an Upromise member? Log in to your account and link it to your CollegeAdvantage Direct Plan and watch your account grow with automatic transfers of your rewards.

     

    * Upromise is an optional service offered by Upromise, Inc., as an added value to CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Plan Account Owners. Upromise is separate from the CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Plan and is not affiliated with the Ohio Tuition Trust Authority of the State of Ohio. Participation in Upromise is optional and voluntary. Specific terms and conditions apply. Participating companies, contribution levels, terms, and conditions are subject to change without notice. Upromise and the Upromise logo are registered service marks of Upromise, Inc.

  • Reaching Your College Savings Goal: $2,000 is not a cap

    by User Not Found | Dec 07, 2016

    Some account owners stop contributing at or around $2,000 annually, per beneficiary account. Are you doing this, too? Are you doing so because you thought contributions were capped at $2,000 a year?

    If you are, you are not alone! This is a common misperception that we work hard to dispel.

    You are allowed to DEDUCT contributions up to $2,000 from your Ohio taxable income per beneficiary, per year. But, you are allowed to CONTRIBUTE even more!* Contributions over $2,000 per beneficiary, per year, may be carried forward to deduct from future tax years until all of your contributions are fully deducted.

    With more than 75% of CollegeAdvantage Direct Plan assets being held by Ohio taxpayers, we understand that many account owners are trying to maximize the annual Ohio income tax deduction amount. While it’s good to maximize your deduction, make sure you define your savings goals so that you don’t stop short of your goal each year. If you’re trying to pay for all or most of your child’s future college expenses, saving $2,000 per year might leave you short of your goal when it comes time for college.

    To help you, we encourage you to set a college savings goal that fits your household budget, covers the portion of costs you hope to pay, and takes into account your time horizon. If your child just
    started kindergarten, you have more time to save even more. If your child is middle or high school, you may want to accelerate your savings. Even if your child is in college already, you can still save and take advantage of tax-free earnings (which helps you save even more) and you can maximize the Ohio tax deduction, too.

    If you haven’t set or recently re-evaluated your college savings goals, you might want to take a few minutes to visit the
    Planning Tools page on our website. You can set that college savings goal, compare long-term tax benefits, or even see the cost of waiting to save. Whatever the amount you are able to dedicate to college savings, if you are an Ohio taxpayer you will enjoy tax-free growth and a deduction from your Ohio taxable income by choosing to save with CollegeAdvantage. And, if you’ve made it this far and don’t already have a CollegeAdvantage Direct account, today’s a great day to open an account!

    We also have other tools available in the CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Savings Plan to help you and your family reach your college savings goals:

    • Ugift® – Family and friends often look for significant, meaningful ways to celebrate holidays, birthdays, graduations, and other special occasions. With the CollegeAdvantage Direct Plan, you can get a unique Ugift code for each of your beneficiaries. The code can be shared with family and friends to allow them to make lasting gifts to your child’s college savings account. Without ever sharing your account number or your child’s social security number, anyone can contribute securely online at Ugift529.com. Learn more about receiving gifts.
    • AIP – We offer the Automatic Investment Plan (AIP) so that you can make savings an easy habit. AIP allows you to make automatic, regular contributions from any bank account. Just log in to your Direct Plan account and select “Automatic Investments” under Asset Management in the menu. Many account owners use this plan to set money aside before they have a chance to spend it on something else.

    Please note: contributions for 2015 must be received, in good order, by Thursday, December 31 before 4:00 p.m. ET.

    *You can make contributions at any time that such contributions will not cause your account value to exceed the Account Limit for Contributions (formerly Maximum Account Value) as described in the
    CollegeAdvantage Direct Plan Offering Statement and Participation Agreement. The current Account Limit for Contributions is $414,000. Beginning January 1, 2016, the Account Limit for Contributions will be $426,000.

  • Don’t Miss The Tax Advantages And The Year-End Deadlines!

    by Amy Lyle | Dec 06, 2016

    It’s the time of year when you’re not only tying bows on presents but also to tying up your end-of-the-year to-do list. As you work to complete all the items before heading into the holidays, don’t forget to look at your CollegeAdvantage 529 plan. Make sure you are taking full advantage of all the tax benefits — including an up to $2,000 deduction from your state taxable income. Your 529 contributions must be received before 4 p.m. ET Friday, Dec. 30, 2016, to be included in this year’s total.

    To get started, log in to your account. Review the account balance and the list of contributions made throughout the year, making sure to subtract all gift contributions and any college savings award winnings that may have been added to your 529 plan. This final total should be the amount you alone have contributed to the account in 2016. As an Ohio resident, you can deduct up to $2,000 per person (or married couple) of your 529 plan contributions, per beneficiary, per calendar year, from your state taxable income. However, you can always contribute even more! Contributions over $2,000 per beneficiary, per calendar year, may be carried forward to deduct from future tax years until all of your contributions are fully deducted. Please keep in mind that for the state tax deduction, you will need to have copies of your bank statements or cashed checks to show for verification. Statements from CollegeAdvantage are not acceptable as they contain contributions from all sources, not just the account owner.

    Any Ohio resident who made a gift contribution directly to your CollegeAdvantage 529 plan is also allowed to deduct up to $2,000 from their state taxable income as well. The gift giver must keep their own record of contributions for tax purposes.

    Additionally, per federal 529 laws, individuals can invest up to $14,000 ($28,000 for married couples) per beneficiary without incurring any federal gift-tax consequences. You can even contribute up to $70,000 per beneficiary in a single year ($140,000 for married couples) and take advantage of five years’ worth of tax-free gifts at one time. For more information, consult your tax adviser or estate-planning attorney.

    Online and paper contributions must be received by CollegeAdvantage in good order before 4 p.m. ET Friday, Dec. 30, in order to be recorded as occurring in 2016.

    So as you’re wrapping up the gifts and your 2016 to-do list, check that you’re receiving all the tax benefits with each gift of college you contribute to the 529 account.

  • CollegeAdvantage Grants The "Gift" Of Education

    by Amy Lyle | Dec 05, 2016

    Learning is the only thing the mind never exhausts, never fears, and never regrets.
    Leonardo da Vinci

    I am a firm believer in the importance in education, and CollegeAdvantage grants the “gift” of education to so very many. I learned about CollegeAdvantage in a Columbus Dispatch article and visited the agency’s website. After learning more about the college savings program, I realized that 529 accounts offered a stable plan for college education for our younger generations.

    I committed to assisting with my younger sister’s three daughters’ college education after a change in family circumstances guaranteed that there would not be funding available for college. These bright young ladies deserved that chance at higher ed, so I opened three 529 accounts when they were in grade school. 

    Their college savings accounts were an investment in them and their future, and consequently, investments in our society as well. My nieces were familiar with the adage, “knowledge is power”; but what they learned was the fact that the more you know, the more options you have. I wanted them to have options. Gifts of clothing, technology gadgets, or entertainment are so fleeting. Whereas, granting a gift of knowledge is both positive and permanent – their futures change with small gifts added to their college savings accounts on festive occasions.   

    Through their 529 accounts, my nieces’ tuition ​as well as room and board were covered. The CollegeAdvantage accounts were all used in Texas as my sister had relocated her family to Houston. I was pleased to discover that Ohio’s 529 Savings Program can be applied to colleges outside the state. The university was pleased with the ease of receiving the funds from CollegeAdvantage for tuition and other payments.

    Each of my nieces worked part-time during their college years, to learn the importance of money and help towards their out-of-pocket expenses at school. Two of them also received scholarships to stretch the 529 accounts out further. It was with the scholarship development that I learned that you ​can always use the money in the account; you can transfer it to another member of the family. So, the funds in one of my niece’s account were transferred to her sister’s as the former had received better scholarships. These bright young ladies shared the gift of college – the gift of their future.

    With every semester, I had a chance to speak to my nieces to ask what classes they were taking and what was going on their lives when we were arranging payments from their 529s. It was an opportunity to interact and stay connected despite the distance.

    My nieces realized their 529 accounts were a gift and they took appropriate care of this advantage. One niece graduated summa cum laude from the University of Houston in education and is continuing to earn her master’s degree; another niece graduated from the University of Houston summa cum laude from the department of arts and social sciences and is pursuing a writing career; and the youngest niece graduated from the University of Houston magna cum laude in biomedical engineering and is continuing her education at the University of Texas Medical School in Galveston. Three industrious young ladies choosing very different paths to success and fulfillment, yet they were all supported by their college savings fund which was started before they were walking.   

    Since their undergraduate costs were covered, my nieces had more options for furthering their own education in graduate and other post-secondary education. The gift of their 529 plans allowed them to think forward to the future and decide what they would truly like to pursue for a career. So they pushed themselves and strove for more. Also, as there was less financial pressure on them, they were better able to enjoy the whole college experience.

    My advice: Don’t put off starting a 529. Make realistic goals and learn about the joy of delayed gains. It’s good for the parents to sit down with their children to discuss the costs involved with sports, clubs, and other extracurricular activities so they understand the fees, uniform costs, lodging prices, tournament fees, and traveling costs. As a family, you can decide whether it’s better to set money aside for these extracurricular expenses or for future college costs. It can become a goal for which the entire family to aim.

    Your plan was so very easy and works very efficiently. CollegeAdvantage puts the beneficiary’s destinies in their own hands; and it gives them a positive experience with responsibility. Planning greatly increases education possibilities and future orientation. Saving in a 529 plan is much simpler tha​n you think and much more rewarding than you expect.

     

    Dr. Chrisanne Gordon Saving Story

    Executive director of Resurrecting Lives Foundation

    Marysville, OH 

  • Score Big As The Bengals And CollegeAdvantage Team Up

    by Amy Lyle | Dec 01, 2016

    Since 2012, the Cincinnati Bengals and CollegeAdvantage have teamed up each season to present one lucky family with $10,000 to help reach their college savings goals.

    This season, the grand-prize winner will receive their $10,000 College Savings Award before kickoff of the Bengals’ Dec. 18 home game, against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

    In addition, the second-place winner will win a visit by a Bengals’ player to their child’s school! Ten runners-up will win a piece of autographed Bengals memorabilia and three additional runners-up winners will receive other Bengals prizes.

    To enter to win, all you have to do is visit us on Facebook. You can enter once per day, per e-mail address. This giveaway will run until 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4. For complete rules, visit https://www.collegeadvantage.com/docs/default-source/sweepstakes-rules/16bengalsgiveawayrules.

    Don’t wait to enter. The clock is ticking down to score a touchdown for your college savings. We hope to see you at the 50 yard line of Paul Brown Stadium Sunday, Dec. 18!

  • CollegeAdvantage.com unavailable due to site maintenance

    by Amy Lyle | Nov 30, 2016
    Our website, CollegeAdvantage.com will be unavailable due to routine site maintenance from 1 - 4 a.m. ET on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016. We expect the website to be back up with full functionality at or after 4 a.m. ET on Thursday. If you need access your CollegeAdvantage account during this period, you can do so at https://www.mycollegeadvantagedirect.com/ohtpl/auth/ll.cs.
  • Reds Heads and Reds Rookies Kids Club Winners Announced

    by Amy Lyle | Nov 30, 2016

    CollegeAdvantage teamed up with the Reds Heads and Reds Rookies Kids Clubs this past year to give away $529 college saving awards each quarter.

    The lucky winners were randomly selected. They are:

    • Nicole Harrison of Harrison, Ohio
    • David Murphy of West Chester, Ohio
    • Dawn Hertlein of Cincinnati, Ohio
    • Jessica Gilley of Bellbrook, Ohio
    • Stephanie Heitz of Hamilton, Ohio

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

    Would you like to see your name on a winners’ list from CollegeAdvantage? Here’s one last opportunity to do so.

    Check out the Bengals CollegeAdvantage Kickoff College Savings giveaway. Visit our Facebook page and enter to win a $10,000 college savings award for your 529 plan. The second runner-up will win a visit by a Bengals player to their child’s school. Additionally, ten runners-up will win a piece of autographed Bengals memorabilia and three additional runners-up winners will receive other Bengals prizes. Complete giveaway rules can be found here. The deadline to enter is 11:59 p.m. this Sunday, Dec. 4, so don’t delay!

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

  • Celebrate Giving Tuesday With A 529 Contribution

    by Amy Lyle | Nov 25, 2016

    Ahh, the holidays — it’s the most wonderful time of the year! You’ve finally finished the Thanksgiving turkey leftovers. You joined the masses out on Black Friday and then again on Small Business Saturday. To complete all your holiday shopping, you took advantage of all the online deals for Cyber Monday.

    And then Giving Tuesday comes around, and you think, “Maybe there’s a better holiday gift I can give, one that has impact? Why not the gift of college?” Giving Tuesday marks the start of the charity giving season which lasts through all the holiday celebrations. It emphasizes meaningful offerings of your time, financial support, or talents for the benefit of others. Giving to a loved one’s CollegeAdvantage 529 college savings account — or starting an account — is truly a gift that has value and significance.

    What’s a 529 plan? Simply, it’s a college savings account that grows tax free, and withdrawals taken for 529-qualified higher education expenses are free from federal and state income tax. Additionally, the money in these accounts can be used at any federally accredited educational institutions – whether for a two-year, four-year, graduate or professional degree, or any other post-secondary school. CollegeAdvantage can show you the more of the basics.

    Contributions to a 529 plan can start as low as $25 (a Fifth Third Certificate of Deposit requires a $500 minimum contribution) and be increased to any amount you would like to donate. You can even set up an automatic monthly amount to be transferred into the 529 account to show your continual support for your loved one’s college education plans.

    If you are an Ohio resident, you are eligible to deduct up to $2,000 of your 529 plan contributions per beneficiary from your state taxable income. However, you are allowed to contribute even more! Contributions over $2,000 per beneficiary, per year, may be carried forward to deduct from future tax years until all of your contributions are fully deducted.

    Per federal 529 laws, individuals can invest up to $14,000 ($28,000 for married couples) per beneficiary without incurring any federal gift-tax consequences. You can even contribute up to $70,000 per beneficiary in a single year ($140,000 for married couples) and take advantage of five years’ worth of tax-free gifts at one time. (Contributions are considered completed gifts and are removed from your estate,  but you, as the Account Owner, retain control.) Upon the death of the Account Owner, money remaining in the account will not be included in the Account Owner's estate for federal estate tax purposes. For more information, consult your tax adviser or estate-planning attorney.

    If you aren’t a 529 account owner but would like to give the gift of college to a loved one’s 529 account, there are a variety of ways to do so! You can open an account for the child, and, if you’re an Ohio resident, take advantage of all the tax benefits listed above. You can also ask the parents for a Ugift code for their child’s CollegeAdvantage Direct Plan account. Ugift allows account owners (usually the parents) to set up a code which allows gift givers to donate online directly to an already established CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 plan account without needing the actual account number. Once you have the unique Ugift code for the gift recipient, you can visit Ugift529.com to make your electronic contribution securely from your bank account. It’s that easy. It’s also quick and easy for parents to request an Ugift code for their existing accounts. They just need to log in to their account and click on Ugift. You can also order a holiday greeting card to announce your online contribution.

    Celebrate the spirit of giving during this holiday season and contribute to a 529 account, or even start one for a loved one. 

  • CollegeAdvantage Direct Plan Recognized As A Top 529 Plan

    by Amy Lyle | Nov 22, 2016

    COLUMBUS, Ohio (​​Oct. ​31, 201​6) – In a report recently released by Morningstar, Inc. the leading provider of independent investment research of 529 college savings plans, Ohio’s CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Plan received a “Silver” rating. Morningstar has praised CollegeAdvantage for its low fees and an impressive investment lineup, noting that Ohio’s CollegeAdvantage direct-sold plan is a top choice for Ohioans as well as non-Ohioans.

    “We believe we have the best 529 college savings options in the nation right here in Ohio”, said CollegeAdvantage Executive Director Tim Gorrell, ”but this rating, from a highly regarded national agency, validates our claim and we hope will encourage more people to trust us with their college savings investments both in Ohio and across the nation.”

    This is an annual report by Morningstar which ranks 529 plans, by a five pillar system. The five pillars represent: process, performance, people, parents, and price. The five pillar system is similar to how Morningstar ranks mutual funds. Morningstar’s ranking system groups 529 plans as “Gold”, “Silver”, “Bronze”, Neutral or Negative. The “Gold”, “Silver”, and “Bronze” ratings are all positive ratings. Morningstar’s rating system makes it easier to understand how 529 plans across the country compare and perform to their peer plans. The “neutral” rating indicates room for improvement and a “negative” rating indicates a plan is clearly inferior to other 529 plans across the country.

    Morningstar reviewed a total of 63 college savings plans this year, with only 13 plans considered to be among the top plans in the country. The “Silver” rating is a very positive rating given by Morningstar and identifies CollegeAdvantage to be a “best-in-class” option for saving. Plans that received “Gold”, “Silver”, or “Bronze” rating are plans that follow the industry’s best practices. According to Morningstar they offer strong underlying investments, have a good selection of investment managers, well-researched asset allocations, low fees, and strong oversight from the state and program managers.


    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. 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 nearly $9.7 billion in assets under management and over 635,000 total accounts as of September 30, 2016. To learn more, visit www.collegeadvantage.com.

Back To Top