CSPN - College Savings Plans Network
Blog Facebook Twitter YouTube

Reaching your dreams takes a lot more than a little bit ‘o luck

Lucas Minor
GET Marketing & Communications Manager
March 16, 2015

Many symbols associated with St. Patrick’s Day signify luck. Shamrocks, horseshoes and the color green are often revered as tokens that promise bounties of good fortune. However, while there definitely are times where the cards seem to be more in our favor than usual, good fortune typically takes more than luck alone. In fact, the things we attribute to luck are usually direct results of the efforts we make. As Thomas Jefferson is credited with saying, “I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.”

This is all too true when it comes to planning for our children’s future success. If we simply cross our fingers and hope our child wants to become a doctor, gets into the most prestigious medical school, and secures the scholarships to pay for it, we’re setting ourselves up for disappointment. There’s nothing wrong with these lofty goals – we SHOULD dream big for our kids, and inspire them to do the same. But when these dreams aren’t supported with sweat equity, the chances of our desires coming to fruition can be slim. So how do we bring our hopes for our children’s success from simple wishes to tangible realities?

I’m Not Worried About Paying for College; My Child’s Going to Get a Scholarship

Jim Peterson
Marketing Manager, Michigan Education Trust (MET)
March 9, 2015

During the course of any conversation I have concerning saving for college with a 529 plan, parents will inevitably ask, “What happens if my son/daughter gets a scholarship?” I understand the question; it’s a valid one. Parents are considering investing their hard-earned money and they’re looking at all the possible outcomes that may affect their investment. Those are important questions to ask.  

But, if you’re a parent that’s putting off saving for your child’s education because you believe your child will attend college on an athletic scholarship, let me share a word of caution – the thousands of dollars you spend in supporting your student athlete will, most likely, not translate into college dollars.

New Report from CSPN Shows Continued Growth for 529 Plans

Betty Lochner
Chair of the College Savings Plans Network and Director of Washington’s Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) Program 
March 3, 2015

Today, the College Savings Plans Network published its 2014 Year-End 529 Report and we’re happy with the results: growth!

Highlights from the report show:

  • Total Investment: Total investment by American families in 529 plans grew by $20.8 billion reaching a record level of $247.9 billion.
  • Number of Accounts: The total number of 529 accounts increased 4.1% over the past 12 months, going from 11.6 million in December 2013 to 12.1 million as of December 2014.
  • Total Assets: Including growth from contributions and investment returns, total assets in 529 plans grew by 9.1% in 2014.
  • Average Account Size: The average 529 account size continues to grow, reaching an all-time high of $20,474.

Statement from College Savings Plans Network on Passage of H.R. 529

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 25, 2015) – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 529, legislation introduced by Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) and Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI) that would make 529 plans more flexible by making computers an eligible education expense; allowing the redeposit of college refunds without negative tax implications in certain circumstances and updating outdated accounting rules.

Betty Lochner, chair of the College Savings Plans Network (CSPN)—the nation’s leading objective source of information about Section 529 College Savings Plans and Prepaid Tuition Plans—issued the following statement on the passage of this critical piece of legislation:

“Saving for college is a high priority for American families. With 12 million accounts open and almost $250 billion invested, 529 college savings plans are a powerful tool that help American families cope with the rising cost of college and avoid becoming saddled with student loan debt.

The provisions in H.R. 529 are crucial elements to help middle class families save for future higher education expenses and allow current students to realize their career aspirations.

We thank the House of Representatives for voting to implement these common sense improvements to 529 plans and look forward to now working with the Senate to ensure this measure passes both chambers of Congress.”

Join Us in Asking Congress to Pass H.R. 529

Betty Lochner
Chair of the College Savings Plans Network and Director of Washington’s Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) Program
February 19, 2015

This is a very exciting time in the College Savings world as legislation to enhance 529 savings plans has legs in Congress. In fact, H.R. 529 will likely be taken up for vote in the U.S. House of Representatives sometime next week and we want to do everything in our power to ensure that it is passed. We have mobilized our members representing 49 states with 529 Savings Plans to advocate with their Representatives to pass this proposed legislation.

Implementing common sense improvements to 529 plans so that more families see the benefits of saving will only help the overall health and well-being of our country over the long-haul. These plans have proven to help limit or eliminate future student loan debt, while aiding to increase access to higher education. Here are what real families from my home state of Washington are saying about saving with our state’s 529 plan better known as GET (Guaranteed Education Tuition):

Presidents’ Day Reflections

Lucas Minor
GET Marketing & Communications Manager
February 16, 2015

Whenever Presidents’ Day rolls around, it rekindles many fond memories from U.S. history classes in elementary and high school. Iconic events come to mind such as George Washington crossing the Delaware, the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the framing of the Constitution and President Lincoln delivering the Gettysburg Address. I was always awed by these great leaders, and the impacts they made, not only in creating, growing and preserving a young nation, but in setting a precedent that representative democracies do work and can thrive. However, as I reflect on these larger-than-life images that many of us hold of our forefathers, I try to remember that despite all of the reverence we project onto them, many saw themselves simply as stewards of democracy and the public’s will. 

To that end, our nation’s leaders have (generally) fought to preserve the foundations of the Constitution and made policy decisions intended to serve the best interest of the people. While our 44 Presidents have certainly held widely varying views on the best approaches to this noble purpose, something most could agree on is the importance of education. It’s hard to disagree with the idea that the dissemination of knowledge is the cornerstone for a thriving economy, an increasingly just political system, and the overall advancement of society. 

The Power of Love: 529 Plans and the Emotional Side of Saving for College

Patricia Roberts
Managing Director, AllianceBernstein L.P. and
Chair, College Savings Plans Network Corporate Affiliates

February 9, 2015 

As Valentine’s Day approaches each year, I am reminded of Thomas Aquinas’ observation, “the things we love tell us what we are.”  

Over the past few weeks, Americans were presented with an unexpected opportunity to swiftly and collectively demonstrate the love they have for the children in their lives, the value they place on higher education, and the commitment they have to an easy-to-use financial vehicle that helps them plan ahead for their loved ones’ post-secondary education expenses.

Feeling the love
It was parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, current and future students along with so many other concerned citizens who, without hesitation, joined a diverse group of lawmakers, state treasurers and other public officials in an impromptu coast-to-coast chorus to help preserve the tax benefits of 529 college savings plans. It was an unusual circumstance for so many seemingly diverse individuals to be singing in unison off of the very same page. One could almost feel the warmth that was evoked by their commonality of interest, see the party lines graciously fade and hear the collective sigh of relief from families across the nation as they realized their voices had indeed been heard and their academic hopes for those they love, preserved.

You can participate in almost any 529 plan across the country.View All

CSPN is an affiliate of the

Affiliate of the National Association of State Treasurers