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Ohio's 529 Plan Celebrating April As Military Saves Month

Military Saves Month logoAt Ohio’s 529 Plan, CollegeAdvantage, we believe that all types of savings are critical for your family’s financial success, not just college savings. This is why we are a proud supporter of Military Saves and Military Saves Month, which is held the month of April.  

Military Saves Month was established to encourage households and individuals to develop good saving habits. Military Saves is a component of the America Saves organization, which managed by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), dedicated to helping individuals save money, reduce household debt, and build wealth.

This year, Military Saves Month themes are: “Set a Goal. Make a Plan. Save Automatically.” Each week will focus on one aspect of these themes.

April 1-2 — Save Automatically

April 5-9— Save for the Unexpected

April 12-16 — Save to Retire

April 19-23 — Save by Reducing Debt

April 26-30 — Save as a Family

Like all participating organizations, Ohio’s 529 Plan encourages you and your family to set a financial goal together, make a plan to achieve it, and then save automatically, heading off the possibility that you might spend the money elsewhere. For some simple tips on how to “Save as a Family,” watch this video from America Saves.

Since 2007, more than 340,000 individuals have taken the Military Saves Pledge. If you’d like to commit to saving a certain dollar amount over a set period of time, you can take the Military Saves pledge. You will receive encouragements, advice, and reminders to keep focused on your goal.

"Readiness, a term that all Military personnel can wholeheartedly understand, is the preparedness of persons, systems, or organizations to meet a situation and carry out a planned sequence of actions. Just as Military personnel must be prepared for current and future missions, personal readiness for life’s contingencies is equally important,” said Tim Gorrell, the Executive Director of Ohio’s 529 Plan.

If one of your long-term savings goal is paying for some of your children’s future higher education, visit Ohio’s 529 Plan, CollegeAdvantage, to learn about all the benefits of saving in a 529 plan. In addition to all the tax advantages, you can save in Ohio’s 529 Plan and use those funds nationwide to pay for qualified higher education expenses at four-year colleges and universities, two-year community colleges, trade or vocational schools, and certificate programs that have a Federal School Code on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). 529 plans can now be used at apprenticeship programs registered with the Secretary of Labor’s National Apprenticeships Act.

A 529 plan can supplement your Post-9/11 GI Bill. Administered by U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), this federal program assists in transitioning our veterans back to civilian life by paying their higher education expenses—whether undergraduate or graduate school, vocational/training programs, apprenticeships, and flight training. The GI Bill includes 36 months of education benefits: full in-state public school tuition and fees (there is a national maximum rate cap for tuition and fees for attending a private college), monthly housing allowance if a veteran is in school more than half time, and an annual books and supplies stipend.

If service members choose not to use all of these benefits for their own higher education, they can transfer unused GI bill benefits to their dependents, either their spouses or children, to pay for their college or vocational training.

If you split your Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits among multiple dependents, then a 529 plan can help cover the remaining qualified higher education expenses associated with attending a two-year or four-year college, vocational school or an apprenticeship, approved  by the U.S. Labor Department. Eligible expenses range from tuition; mandatory fees; computer equipment and related technology and services; books; supplies, and equipment required for enrollment or attendance; room and board costs or off campus housing during any academic period the beneficiary is enrolled at least half-time; and certain expenses for a special-needs student. Room and board costs can also include rent for off-campus residency and groceries (non-taxable items), provided these costs are equal or less than the same room and board allowances from the accredited education institution.

If your family is suffering economic hardships to due to COVID, Military Saves has compiled a list of resources available to military families during this time.

For more than 30 years, Ohio’s 529 Plan, CollegeAdvantage, has been helping families across the nation save for their children’s higher education. Ohio’s 529 Plan covers qualified costs nationwide at any four-year college or university, two-year community college, trade or vocational school, apprenticeship approved by the U.S. Labor Department, or certificate program nationwide that accepts federal financial aid. If you’d like to learn more about the tax-advantaged way to save for college, explore Ohio’s 529 Plan — The Plan That Can.

Posted on April 1, 2021

Ohio Tuition Trust Authority

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