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Are You a 529 Newbie? 3 Free CSPN Resources to Help You Find the Right Plan

By Terry Crockett
Marketing Analyst, Virginia529 College Savings Plan

July 28, 2014

Finding the right college savings plan can often be tricky.  Does your state offer tax advantages to residents? What about a prepaid tuition plan? We won’t even get started on advisor sold plans vs. direct sold plans.
Let’s face it--the average consumer just doesn’t have the industry knowledge to make a well informed decision when opening a 529 account.

Summer Enrichment: Money Matters provide Teachable Moments

By Patricia Roberts, Managing Director
AllianceBernstein L.P.
July 21, 2014

The welcomed and relaxed pace of summer provides a unique opportunity for us to catch our breath and address issues (big and small) that have been pushed to the side during the hustle and bustle of the school year. Even more importantly, with a bit less on our collective plates, the summer season also presents the opportunity to connect in meaningful ways with our families and particularly, with the children in our lives.

With formal learning in the rear-view mirror for a while, opportunities abound for school age children to explore and learn outside the classroom, in more relaxed circumstances. When we think about the experiences we'd like to have with the children in our lives this summer, it’s also good to think about the knowledge we'd like to impart.

School's out for Summer! What's on Your Horizon?

By Dan Payne, Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Washington's Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) program
July 14, 2014

Summer’s finally here, and today in the northwest, it actually feels like it. As I’m writing, the forecast for the day is a scorching 92 degrees… in Washington State! With more than a handful of beautiful days behind us already, this summer seems to be shaping up nicely.

Opportunity is in the air. You can smell the potential in the fresh bloom of Washington flora and you can taste the anticipation of what’s on the horizon. One of the best aspects of summer is that it marks an end as well as a new beginning. For some, it’s the advancement to the next year of school, ripe with the excitement of new challenges to overcome. For others, it’s diving into college, exploring the world of opportunity at their fingertips. And for others, it’s the first leap into the world after college, and the beginning of the life that they’ve prepared for. For everyone, limitations are dependent on determination and imagination.

Why Save for College?

By David Lawhorn, Program Administrator
Kentucky Education Savings Plan Trust (KESPT)
Kentucky Affordable Prepaid Tuition (KAPT)
July 7, 2014

I have worked at a state agency for 14 years administering our state’s 529 college savings plan, and this is a question I get all the time: Why should I save for college? I usually try to answer this basic question by pointing out the below reasons on why it’s important to save for college:

The more a family saves the less they spend….
Over my years in higher education, I have found that when parents, direct family members (grandparents) and students save with a GOAL of helping fund college for a relative- the child tends to value the educational expense of college. By focusing on paying for the “true education cost,” families and the actual college-going member tend to spend less on what I like to call “social cost expenses” associated with going to college. It is my belief that a large amount of the student loan debt can be traced back to spending too much on the “wants” in college vs. the actual necessities needed to complete a college degree.

A College Savings Pep Talk

By Luke Minor, Marketing & Communications Manager
Washington's Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) program
June 30, 2014
As much as those of us in the 529 world wish otherwise, starting a college savings plan is not always an easy decision for families to make. The benefits of saving for college may seem obvious, and most of us know that we “should be doing it,” but connecting these thoughts to action is not always easy. To help provide a little encouragement, we’ve planned a little pep talk to help you take your college savings game to the next level. To guide our discussion, we’ll look at a few inspirational quotes from some of the most outstanding leaders in sports history. So, let’s get our game faces on and go win one for your kids!

Don’t Let College Savings Keep You Up at Night

By Stuart Ritter, CFP®
T. Rowe Price Senior Financial Planner

If you’re like 28% of American parents, you find yourself losing sleep over the thought of saving for college. This is according to a recent survey we at T. Rowe Price conducted that aimed to understand the basic financial knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of parents and their kids ages eight to 14.

With all of the factors at play – how to save, when to start, how much to put away – it’s no surprise that parents just like you feel overwhelmed about college savings. Here are some of the most interesting parental college savings trends that T. Rowe Price’s survey uncovered, plus tips on how to avoid the most common pitfalls.

Summer Break is no Time to Break from Saving

By John Perdue, West Virginia State Treasurer
College Savings Plans Network Executive Board Member

As a parent, I know how proud I am to see my children reach important milestones in life, like graduations.  As a state treasurer, I also know how important it is to keep planning and saving for my children’s next milestone.

With the school year coming to a close, many of you may be experiencing this sense of pride and excitement as your little one graduates from pre-school, high school or college. With graduation comes parties and celebrations, and from there, summer fun takes center stage.

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