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July 2, 2015

Supporting a Smart Way to Save for Higher Education – 2/20/2015

American families continue to believe that college is an investment in a child’s future. With more than 12 million accounts open nationwide, 529 college savings plans have proven to be a successful way for families to make that investment. These plans are manageable, affordable, and tax-advantaged and can be used towards qualified expenses at colleges, eligible technical or trade schools, or even graduate schools. Alabama’s 529 program, CollegeCounts, has 72,000 accounts open with assets totaling $1.2 billion.

National studies have found that students with a college savings account of any amount of money are six to seven times more likely to attend college than similar students with no dedicated college savings. Since saving for college is a high priority for American families, Congress is working to ensure that these vital savings vehicles remain as effective and versatile as possible to ensure greater financial access to education in this country.

H.R. 529, legislation recently introduced in the U.S. Congress, would make computers a qualified expense, roll back paperwork requirements and allow parents put payments refunded from colleges back into an account tax-free within 60 days. None of these changes are costly to the government. Rather, they are common sense measures designed to help families save for higher education costs.

I have encouraged our Alabama representatives to support H.R. 529. If passed, these enhancements to Alabama’s 529 program, CollegeCounts, will help Alabama’s students and families with college expenses. This will help assist today’s generation to get the education it needs to become the leaders of tomorrow.

Young Boozer

Alabama State Treasurer

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