College Planning

Getting the Most Out Of Your College Savings Fund

The cost of a college education can be staggering. Consider making the most of a college savings account by starting a 529 college fund and learn about some ways you can help boost your college savings.

Starting a College Savings Fund

529 College Savings Plan

For most of us, saving for college can feel a lot like trying to climb a slippery slope. Fortunately, you can help offset the educational sticker shock by starting a 529 college fund for your child. Of course, to help maximize your savings, you probably have realized that the sooner you start, the better. But did you know that there are ways to get more out of your college savings fund? The following are considerations that are worth looking into as you are starting your college fund:

  • Check for state tax breaks.

    In addition to the federal tax savings, 34 states including the District of Columbia, currently offer state residents a full or partial tax deduction or credit for 529 plan contributions. It is advisable to research all of your options when it comes to state tax breaks to find out what benefits might be available to you.

  • Decide how you want to invest.

    Depending on the plan you select, you may be able to decide what kind of asset allocation you want. For example, you might want to invest only in CDs. Whatever you choose, your decision should depend on your tolerance for market volatility and the number of years before your child heads off to college. Discuss your options with a financial professional.

  • Be wary of fees.

    Most 529 plans pass along the costs of administration to account owners through fees and other expenses. Not only do these fees vary from state to state, but some plans charge more than others and for many different things. Before deciding on a plan, know what the costs are. A plan that charges an exorbitant amount of fees can take a big bite out of your return.

  • Factor in financial aid.

    Many people are unaware that assets held in a 529 plan can count against students who are seeking financial aid. That could result in receiving less assistance at a time when students may need it the most.

Nearly every state has a 529 plan; a few offer more than one. From investment options to contribution limits, tax benefits and more, plans can greatly differ. Before starting a college fund, be sure and do your homework and compare 529 plans so that you get the most for your money.

For more information on 529 college savings plans, as well as tips on saving for college, visit the Protective Learning Center.

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Saving For College

Thinking about starting a college fund? Great idea! But did you know that there are ways to get even more out of what you put aside to fund higher education costs? This article looks at considerations for getting the most out of your college savings fund. For more information, visit the Protective Life Learning Center. Learning Center.


All Learning Center articles are general summaries that can be used when considering your financial future at various life stages. The information presented is for educational purposes and is meant to supplement other information specific to your situation. It is not intended as investment advice and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Learning Center articles may describe services and financial products not offered by Protective Life or its subsidiaries. Descriptions of financial products contained in Learning Center articles are not intended to represent those offered by Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Neither Protective Life nor its representatives offer legal or tax advice. We encourage you to consult with your financial adviser and legal or tax adviser regarding your individual situations before making investment, social security, retirement planning, and tax-related decisions. For information about Protective Life and its products and services, visit www.protective.com.

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