• Best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving

    by Ben Gibbons | Nov 23, 2015

    The offices of the Ohio Tuition Trust Authority will be closed on Thursday, November 26, 2015 in observance of Thanksgiving. Because of this, our Customer Service department (1-800-AFFORD-IT) will be closed for the day. 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 can access your account online 24/7.

    Please note that the
    New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) will close at 1:00 pm ET on Friday, November 27, 2015. As a result, any transaction requested on a holiday, weekend, or after the NYSE closes will be processed on the next business day.

    Our office will be open for business as usual from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm ET on Friday, November 27th.

    We wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving!

  • The 411 on 529 Direct Plan Withdrawals

    by User Not Found | Nov 18, 2015

    We want the withdrawal and tuition payment process to be as simple and fast as possible. For the fastest and most accurate method, we recommend that you initiate these transactions online, though we do offer a few methods. Our guide below can serve as a useful reference to help you now and in the future.

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


    Online withdrawal requests followed by online tuition payments are by far the fastest way to move money from your CollegeAdvantage account to the college or university requiring payment. Here’s how to do it all online:

    1. Before you can make a payment, you must have your bank account information on file for 15 days. Add your bank’s information now. For security purposes, no withdrawals can be processed until your bank information has been on file with your CollegeAdvantage account(s) for at least 15 days. This is a one-time waiting period only; you won’t have to wait again in the future, unless you change your banking information. To add your bank account details to each of your CollegeAdvantage Direct Plan accounts, log-in to your account, and use the “Asset Management” menu to add your bank information in the “Manage Banks” section.
    2. Request your withdrawal be paid electronically to your bank account. Though it’s not instantaneous, having your withdrawal sent electronically to your bank account is the fastest delivery we offer. Withdrawals requested before 4:00 p.m. ET on business days will be processed and approved with 2 business days. It may take additional time for your bank to show the funds as a deposit to your account. From the date of your request, you can expect the funds to be received by your bank within 3-5 business days.
    3. Pay your tuition online from your bank account. Once the funds have been deposited to your bank account, use your college’s tuition payment system to pay your tuition from your bank account. Most schools have their own electronic tuition payment process (e-check, e-payment, or ACH) as well as other forms of acceptable payment. Check your school’s bursar office for details. Payment processing times will vary according to the school.

    Paper Check Delivery to the School

    If you prefer to have us send payment to the school on your student’s behalf, be aware that CollegeAdvantage only sends paper checks by US mail. This may cause additional delays depending on the US Postal Service delivery and the school’s paper check processing procedures. If you still prefer to use the paper check delivery method, you must do the following:

    1. Provide CollegeAdvantage with the correct school address where the check should be sent.
    2. Provide your student’s school ID number with the withdrawal request so that the school knows how to credit the payment when the check arrives by mail.
    3. Allow at least an additional 10 business days after the date of your online withdrawal request for the check to arrive at the school. It will take the school additional time to apply the payment to your student’s tuition bill.

    Paper Withdrawal Request Form

    For those who prefer to use a paper form, we do still offer the
    Withdrawal Request Form. Please be aware that this is potentially the slowest withdrawal method available to you. This form, as well as other account maintenance forms can be found here.

    In the interest of time and prompt payment, we do encourage you to consider making your withdrawal request online, rather than download the form. If you must complete the form it is available as a fillable PDF, which we recommend using, or you may print the form and very clearly hand write it.

    The paper form must be mailed to the address provided on the form. You may opt to have the funds sent to you (the Account Owner) or to the Beneficiary, either by paper check in the mail, or by ACH (electronically deposited to your bank account or the Beneficiary’s bank account). Once you receive the funds, you will have to decide how you wish to pay the school.

    If you wish to have the payment sent directly to the school, please review the information provided above for Paper Check Delivery to the School and provide the required information in section 3 C of the Withdrawal Request Form.

  • Guaranteed Plan Withdrawals And Tuition Payments

    by User Not Found | Nov 17, 2015

    Whether you’re paying tuition for the first time, or you have a little experience with the Guaranteed Plan already, we recommend that you plan ahead so that you know exactly how you will process your withdrawal request and pay your school’s tuition bill.

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

    Tuition Unit: $101.62

    Tuition Credit: $116.86

    There are several ways to request a withdrawal and pay for second semester expenses.

    You can request a withdrawal online. There are two online methods for making a withdrawal for tuition and other qualifies expenses. Here are some helpful tips for each:

    1) Request a withdrawal be 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.

    To have your withdrawal check sent directly to the school to pay toward tuition, you must do the following:

    • Allow at least 10 business days following your withdrawal request for the check to arrive at the school.

    • Provide CollegeAdvantage with the student's name, student ID number and correct address of the school your beneficiary is attending.

    2) Request a withdrawal be paid directly to your bank account (account owner only).

    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 method. Here are some instructions you should know:

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

    • Withdrawals requested online before 4:00 p.m. ET on business days will be processed by CollegeAdvantage overnight. It may take additional time for your bank to show the withdrawn funds deposited to your account. 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 tuition 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 details with your school’s bursar or financial office. (CollegeAdvantage is not responsible for any late fees charged by the school, so please plan ahead!)

    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. 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 will increase the processing times outlined above. 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, listed on the
    Withdrawal Request Form.

  • Closed for Veterans Day

    by Ben Gibbons | Nov 04, 2015

    The offices of the Ohio Tuition Trust Authority will be closed on Wednesday, November 11, 2015 in observance of Veterans 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.

    Here are a couple relevant links in recognition of the day:

    The Ohio History Connection is hosting a
    day to recognize veterans and active military.

    From the Ohio Department of Higher Education, here are
    education opportunities for veterans and active service members.

  • Weathering Fluctuations in Investment Markets

    by Ben Gibbons | Oct 27, 2015

    As investors, we feel great when our strategies result in gains. But unfortunately, investing can also sometimes result in losses. As we know from history, it is inevitable that markets go up and they go down, too. Any investment, including 529 plans, carries the assumption of risks. These risks even include the potential loss of principal. To best weather market corrections, advisors commonly suggest that investors employ a long-term savings strategy and maintain a diversified portfolio of investments.

    For those saving for college, savings strategies are also often based on the length of time available to save, your level of comfort with risk, and your personal savings goals. There is not a one-size-fits-all strategy to investing and saving for college; it is personal and requires each person to consider multiple factors like savings goals, timing, risk tolerance and others.  These factors may change with time, so it is important to continually review your investment strategy.

    CollegeAdvantage 529 offers customers a choice of 24 portfolios and options for your personal strategy. These include age-based portfolios that automatically exchange to more conservative investments as your child ages; risk-based portfolios you choose based on your level of comfort with risk; and individual investment options that allow you to select and maintain whatever mix of options you wish from higher-risk stock options to the most conservative FDIC-insured 529 bank savings and CD options.

    CollegeAdvantage also offers the tax advantages of investing with a 529 plan. Ohio taxpayers get even more; a deduction from Ohio taxable income for contributions up to $2,000 per beneficiary, per year with unlimited carryforward.

    To help you monitor your investments and make investment decisions that are right for your savings strategy, we provide online
    reports, tools, and calculators. For additional information about college savings strategies, please visit www.CollegeAdvantage.com. These resources are provided for informational purposes only, and we cannot and do not provide investment advice, so uou should also consult your financial advisor or tax consultant about your personal situation and savings goals.

  • College Savings Month Giveaway Winners Announced

    by Ben Gibbons | Oct 15, 2015

    September was National College Savings Month! To celebrate, we gave $529 College Savings Awards to 10 lucky people! Our giveaway, which ran from September 14th to October 4th, was open to account owners and non-account owners alike.

    Here’s the list of the 10 lucky people who were randomly selected on October 6

    1. Kelley Lee
    2. Christopher King
    3. Allen Werstiuk
    4. Stefanie Doran
    5. Michael Beilke
    6. Courtney Howard
    7. Teresa Robertson
    8. Angela Atha
    9. Steven Campbell
    10. Janet Wise

    Winners who already own CollegeAdvantage Direct Plan accounts will use their awards to boost 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 you don’t see you name on the list don’t worry. Visit us on
    Facebook today and you can enter to win a $10,000 College Savings Award! Visit us today to learn more about our 2015 Kickoff College Savings Giveaway with the Cincinnati Bengals.

    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.

  • 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

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