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Give The Gift Of A Higher Education

529 Tips

This Giving Tuesday, Give The Gift Of A Higher Education

As the holidays approach, are you looking to give a gift with meaning and impact? Be inspired by Giving Tuesday and give the gift of a higher education!  A contribution to an Ohio’s 529 Plan account — or opening an account — is an investment in your child’s future and makes a makes hugely positive long-term impact by helping them with their college costs.

What is a 529 plan?

529 plan is a college savings account that grows with many tax benefits, starting with tax-free earnings. Thanks to this benefit all investment growth is yours to use to cover college costs. Withdrawals from a 529 plan that pay for qualified higher education expenses are also tax-free. The money in 529 plans can be used at any school that accepts federal financial aid – whether a two-year, four-year, or graduate schools as well as trade, vocational or certificate programs. 

There is no fee to open an Ohio 529 Plan.  Contributions start as low as $25 and can be increased to any amount, at any time. You can set up an automatic monthly contribution to be transferred into the 529 account to grow your loved one’s college savings.

State tax deduction for Ohioans giving to Ohio’s 529 Plan

If you, or any gift giver, are an Ohio resident, then you could both be eligible to deduct up to $4,000 of your Ohio’s 529 Plan contributions per beneficiary, per year, from your state taxable income. However, you can contribute even more! Contributions over $4,000 per beneficiary, per year, can be carried forward to future tax years until you’ve deducted all of your contributions are from your state taxable income. In order to have your contributions included in your 2019 total, they must be received in good order by CollegeAdvantage before 4 p.m. ET Tuesday, Dec. 31.

Others can give to Ohio’s 529 Plan

There are many ways to give the gift of a college education. You can open a 529 account for your child. If you already have a CollegeAdvantage Direct Plan account, you can provide other family members an Ugift code for your child’s account. This code permits others to make online gift contributions directly to your CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Plan without your account number. Once you provide the Ugift code, friends and family can visit Ugift529.com to make their electronic contribution securely from their bank account. It’s that easy.

Why save in Ohio’s 529 Plan?

For the last 30 years, Ohio’s 529 Plan has provided families in and out of Ohio flexible options and educational resources to invest for education expenses after high school. Your college savings in Ohio’s 529 Plan can be used nationwide.

Ohio’s CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Savings Plan is recognized nationally as one of the nation’s best 529 plans.

Savingforcollege.com is a trusted and independent college-savings industry resource. In its most recent quarterly analysis of 529 plan investment performances, Ohio’s 529 Plan is listed in one of the top three spots in each of the long-term investment performance charts.  As of September 30, 2019, CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Plan ranks first in the nation for the best investment performance in two different categories: five-year and ten-year. Ohio’s Direct 529 Plan was ranked third nationally for the one-year performance, and second nationwide for the best performance in the three-year category. Ohio’s Direct 529 is the only program to rank in the top three for each category. 

Savingforcollege.com consistently recognizes Ohio’s Direct 529 Plan as one of the best plans in the nation for both Ohio residents and non-Ohio residents by giving the program a 5-Cap Rating. This designation is dependent on criteria that shows the college savings plan “offers outstanding flexibility, attractive investment, and additional economic benefits (such as generous state tax incentives) that for some people, at least, will provide a substantial boost to their savings. There are few, if any, weaknesses noted in the program.” Ohio’s Direct 529 Saving Plan has received this recognition multiple times for the plan’s attractiveness for Ohioans and across the nation. Ohio’s Direct 529 Plan is currently the only plan nationwide with this distinction.

Morningstar also regards Ohio’s Direct 529 Plan very highly. The program received a Silver rating for the ninth consecutive year. BlackRock CollegeAdvantage, Ohio’s Advisor 529 Plan, also retained its bronze ranking. This makes Ohio one of only four state programs that have both their Direct and Advisor 529 Plans ranked as medal class investment options by Morningstar. In addition, the Ohio Direct 529 Plan is one of only three plans in the country to attain a positive ranking in all five of Morningstar’s pillars. The high ranking for both CollegeAdvantage 529 Plans highlights the strength of these two college savings plans as well as the industry’s regard for Ohio’s 529 Plan as one of the best in the nation.

Other honors include being named CollegeAdvantage as the best-rated 529 plan in the nation by Real Wealth Network. According to Bankrate, Ohio's 529 Plan is at the top of the list for the five best 529 plans in the country. Money expert and New York Times best-selling author Clark Howard has placed Ohio’s 529 Plan on his Dean’s List as one of the very best 529 plans nationwide. Only 529 plans that have management fees less than 0.20% annually were named to the Dean’s List.

Another gift for the holidays

In celebration of our 30th anniversary, Ohio’s 529 Plan is helping to make higher education a little more affordable for 30 lucky families. Running through April 5, 2020, individuals can enter to win one of 30 CollegeAdvantage Savings Awards. One grand-prize winner will receive a $3,000 CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 College Savings Award with twenty-nine (29) runner-up winners each receiving a $529 CollegeAdvantage Direct Savings Award.

Celebrate the spirit of giving during this holiday season and contribute to a 529 account, or start one for a loved one. Open or give to your tax-advantaged Ohio’s 529 Plan today at CollegeAdvantage.com. Someday your child is going to college. Someday starts with CollegeAdvantage.com.

Posted on November 26, 2019

Ohio Tuition Trust Authority

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