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Ohio Teams And Ohio 529 Are Part Of March Madness 2023

The State of Ohio is a big part of March Madness 2023! The University of Dayton is hosting the First Four on March 14-15 and Columbus will host four NCAA First Round games on March 17 and Second Round games on March 19 at the Nationwide and Schottenstein Arenas. Kent State University and Xavier University men’s basketball teams, and Cleveland State University, Ohio State University, and University of Toledo women’s teams were selected for their respective NCAA tournaments.

Additionally, University of Cincinnati, University of Toledo, and Youngstown State University men’s basketball teams, as well as the Bowling Green State University and Kent State University women’s teams are participating in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT).

Ohio is well represented in these nationwide tournaments. The teams’ hard work, perseverance, and dedication propelled them to the national stage.

Ohio’s 529 Plan, CollegeAdvantage, has also been nationally recognized for our hard work, perseverance, and dedication to extend the best tax-free college savings plan possible to Ohioans as well as out-of-state residents.

Why save in Ohio’s 529 Plan?

If you are ready to start saving for your children’s higher education after high school and want to learn more about tax-advantaged 529 plans, Saving For College is an unbiased, industry-trusted informational website, which provides detailed analysis and articles on 529 plans, financial aid, and scholarships, as well as tools to estimate college expenses.

Saving For College consistently recognizes Ohio’s Direct 529 Plan as one of the best plans in the nation for both Ohioans and non-Ohio residents. also ranks the nation’s 529 programs based on how well they serve both in-state and out-of-state residents with its 5-Cap Rating. Ohio’s Direct 529 Plan has earned the top 5-Cap Rating for both in-state and out-of-state residents as of Dec. 15, 2022. This makes Ohio’s 529 Plan one of only seven Direct 529 plan nationwide to achieve this honor for both in-state and out-of-state residents.

Every year, trusted financial industry investment research and management company, Morningstar, reviews the nation’s 529 college savings programs. Once its analysis is complete, Morningstar ranks the 529 plans. In its November 2022 report, Ohio’s CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Plan maintained its silver rating for the tenth year in a row. In addition, BlackRock CollegeAdvantage, Ohio’s Advisor 529 Plan retained its bronze ranking. This makes Ohio one of only three state programs that have both their Direct and Advisor 529 Plans ranked as medal-class college savings programs by Morningstar. 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.

Forbes Advisor ranks Ohio’s 529 Plan as one of the six best college savings programs in the nation. According to their explanation: “Ohio’s 529 Plan comes with features in line with the other plans on our list, including low fees, a range of investment options and a tax deduction for Ohio taxpayers. … The plan also comes with a minimum contribution, both to open the account and for each contribution thereafter. But it is small ($25) and likely manageable for many plan participants.”

Also, CNBC selected Ohio’s 529 Plan as one of the five best programs nationwide. As they wrote, “There isn’t much not to like about the CollegeAdvantage 529 plan — there’s a good mix of investment options (including FDIC-insured accounts), low fees and plans from top companies like Dimensional Fund Advisors. In fact, overall management fees are some of the lowest we’ve seen. Combined with low expense ratios, this makes this plan one of our top picks.”

Use Ohio’s 529 Plan almost anywhere

March Madness is a reminder of Ohio’s great higher education academic and athletic record. CollegeAdvantage is proud to be used at any federally accredited post-secondary educational institution whether it’s a four-year university or college, a two-year community or technical college, a trade or vocation school, an apprenticeship, a certificate program, or a graduate or professional school. This means there are thousands of schools across the country for you to use our own personal 529 account for your loved one’s education after high school.

To be clear, just because you save in Ohio’s 529 Plan, this doesn’t mean your child is limited to only Ohio schools. You can send your child and your Ohio’s 529 Plan funds to almost any federally accredited school nationwide. You can find out if the school your child wants to attend is federally accredited by searching The Free Application For Federal Student Aid or FAFSA. If the institution is listed in the Federal School Code Search, it means the school accept federal financial aid; therefore, your Ohio 529 plan funds can be used there.

Easy savings three-pointer —three Ohio 529 tax advantages

Ohio’s 529 Plan, CollegeAdvantage, helps families across the nation save money for their children’s future higher education costs with tax advantages. First, grow your 529 account with tax-free earnings. This means all the investment growth is yours to use for your children’s future college costs. Compound interest, which is the interest earned on contributions, earnings, and interest already accumulated in the 529 account, is included in the tax-free earnings. Second, when used for qualified higher education expenses, withdrawals from your 529 plan are tax-free. Third, if you are an Ohio resident, then you can deduct 529 contributions from your Ohio taxable income, up to $4,000 per year, per beneficiary, with unlimited carry forward. This means that the $4,000 per year, per beneficiary is not a contribution cap. You can continue to subtract $4,000 per year, per beneficiary, from your Ohio taxable income until all the 529 contributions have been deducted.

It's all about teamwork

Much of these teams’ success on the court is due to teamwork—operating as one unit for a singular goal. For these teams, that goal is of going to the big game. You have your own team to support you for your higher education savings goals. Loved ones, family, and friends can all contribute to your Ohio 529 account. Ask for gifts of higher education for your children’s birthdays, holiday celebrations, graduations and other celebrations. Loved ones want to give presents that have significance and what gift can last longer than education? A 529 gift contribution lasts a lifetime.

After all, 87% of parents would rather get money for their children’s college over any other gift.* And 90% of grandparents would give money towards college savings if the parents asked.**

Ugift is an easy-button gift-giving feature with Ohio’s 529 Plan. Ugift is an innovative way to invite family and friends to save your children’s’ future college costs when celebrating holidays, birthdays, and special achievements with gift contributions to your CollegeAdvantage Direct Plan account. After logging in to your Ohio Direct 529 Plan, you can set up an Ugift code to send to our loved ones who would like to give the gift of a higher education. 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 to make their electronic contribution securely from their bank account.

While watching your favorite school play in March Madness, remember that it’s a lot cheaper to save for a higher education now and earn interest in an 529 account than pay off students loans with accumulated interest later. 

Like the basketball teams representing the great State of Ohio, CollegeAdvantage is proud to represent Ohio’s 529 college savings program on the national stage. Like these teams, we’ve earned our accolades.

For more than 33 years, Ohio’s 529 Plan has been helping families across the nation save for their children’s higher education. Ohio’s 529 Plan covers qualified costs 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 programs, or continuing education classes nationwide that accepts federal financial aid. Learn, plan, and start for as little as $25 today at  


*Source: Fidelity Investments “Gift-Giving Snapshot 2015.”

**Source: Fidelity Investments “Grandparents & College Savings Study, 2014.”


Posted on March 14, 2023

Ohio Tuition Trust Authority

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