News & Press Releases
Families Look Toward the Future, Georgia’s College Savings Plan Sees Record Growth
The state of Georgia’s college savings plan, the Path2College 529 Plan, saw strong growth in the last quarter, with 4,740 new accounts opened—a 26 percent increase in new accounts opened and a 23 percent increase in contribution dollars when compared to 2019.
The Path2College 529 Plan was established in 2002, and as of 9/30/20, there are more than 188,000 accounts and $3.5 billion invested in the plan. Additionally, more than $1.2 billion that was saved in the plan has been used for education expenses on behalf of over 63,000 beneficiaries.
“In 2019, the plan surpassed the $3 billion-dollar savings milestone. Despite the circumstances 2020 has presented, we are continuing to see the importance of saving for education with the growth of the Path2College Plan,” said Lynne Riley, president of the Georgia Student Finance Commission which partners with the Office of the State Treasurer to administer the Path2College 529 Plan for the state of Georgia. “It’s encouraging that not only are families saving more money to help offset educational expenses, but more families are saving.”
Riley said that historically the plan has significant growth in the fourth quarter of the year, and she hopes to see more record numbers as 2020 concludes.
“People are celebrating the holidays during the fourth quarter, as well as making their year-end financial plans, and both often include giving to a 529 plan,” said Riley.
For as little as $25, anyone can make a contribution to a beneficiary’s account in the state of Georgia’s Path2College 529 Plan. Gift givers can click on the “Give a Gift” section on www.Path2College529.com and download the certificate to show that a contribution has been made.
For those hoping to encourage family members to give, Path2College provides the tools to create a custom invitation and send it to friends and family to let them know about this gift-giving option. The email contains a link that, when clicked on, takes the family member or friend to a secure web page, where he or she can make an electronic contribution from a checking or savings account.
Additionally, contributions to the state of Georgia’s Path2College 529 Plan are deductible for Georgia income tax purposes up to $8,000 per year, per beneficiary, for those filing a joint return and up to $4,000 per year, per beneficiary, for those filing a single return. Any earnings on those contributions in the Path2College 529 Plan are federal and Georgia income tax-deferred.
Withdrawals from the state’s 529 plan for qualified higher education expenses, which may include tuition, fees, books, supplies and equipment required for enrollment, such as computers and related technology such as internet access fees, software or printers, are federal and Georgia income tax-free. Funds can be used at virtually any school in the United States and some abroad towards education-related expenses incurred in pursuit of a two-year vocational/technical, four-year, or graduate degree.
For more information about the Path2College 529 Plan or to open a college savings account, please visit www.Path2College529.com or call (877) 424-4377.
To learn more about the Path2College 529 Plan, its investment objectives, tax benefits, risks, and costs please see the Plan Description at path2college529.com. 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 Path2College 529 Plan.