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Saving for college: Five reasons to consider the Minnesota 529 College Savings Plan

Sep 26, 2019

St. Paul, Minn. – With the school-year in full-swing, many people are starting to think about the next steps in their student’s education and September marks National College Savings Month. While it might be kindergarten today, college isn’t too far away, and the Minnesota 529 College Savings Plan is here to help families plan for the costs of higher education.

“College savings month is a great time to evaluate your finances and 529 plans like the Minnesota 529 College Savings Plan which provide a low-cost, tax-advantaged investment platform,” said Jim Mandler, senior marketing manager for the Minnesota 529 College Savings Plan. “Under our program, account owners receive a versatile savings option that lets them choose from different investment strategies, qualify for state tax benefits and use funds for qualified college expenses like tuition, room and board, books and computers or tablets.”

Here are five things to know about why it’s important to save for college:

  • According to the Institute for College Access & Success, 66 percent of public college graduates and 68 percent of private, nonprofit graduates finish school with student loan debt.
  • A study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that average tuition at public, four-year colleges in Minnesota rose by 22.6 percent from 2008 to 2018.
  • It takes only 15 minutes and just $25 to open an account on the Minnesota College Savings Plan website, which offers a host of free planning tools.
  • With the Minnesota College Savings Plan, Minnesota residents can claim a state income tax deduction of up to $3,000 for joint filers and $1,500 for all other filers.
  • Whether it’s convenient online gifting options like eGift or a simple mail-in form, it’s easy for family and friends to contribute to an account and help account owners reach education savings goals.

For more information on the Minnesota College Savings Plan, account owner benefits and college savings month, please visit mnsaves.org or call 1-877-338-4646.

About the Minnesota College Savings Plan

The Minnesota College Savings Plan, Minnesota’s official 529 college savings plan, makes it easier for families to save for higher education expenses. It takes just $25 and 15 minutes to open a Minnesota College Savings Plan account and funds saved can be used at colleges, technical schools and grad schools nationwide. In addition to tuition, funds may be used for certain room and board expenses, books, supplies or other qualified expenses.

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To learn more about the Minnesota College Savings Plan, its investment objectives, tax benefits, risks, and costs please see the Disclosure Booklet at mnsaves.org. Read it carefully. Investments in the Plan are neither insured nor guaranteed and there is the risk of investment loss. Check with your home state to learn if it offers tax or other benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds or protection from creditors only available for investing in its own 529 plan. Consult your legal or tax professional for tax advice. If the funds aren't used for qualified higher education expenses, a 10% penalty tax on earnings (as well as federal and state income taxes) may apply.

TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC, Member FINRA, distributor and underwriter for the Minnesota College Savings Plan.

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