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September 5, 2019

September is College Savings Month – AL’s CollegeCounts 529 Fund has $1.8 Billion in Assets

Ninety-four thousand families have saved over $1.8 billion for future college expenses through Alabama’s CollegeCounts fund. The CollegeCounts 529 Fund is a higher education savings plan offered by the State of Alabama and is designed to allow families to save for college with tax advantages.

“Every month, but especially September, we want to remind Alabama families that there is no time like the present to start saving for your child’s future,” said State Treasurer John McMillan. “By planning ahead and saving early you can minimize the college tuition sticker shock.”

Student loan debt in the U.S. has reached $1.6 trillion and represents the second-largest credit debt – trailing only mortgage loans. Alabama ranks ninth in the nation among states where loan debt of public college graduates is the highest.

Treasurer McMillan is joining other State Treasurers from across the U.S. in advocating for the benefits of state-sponsored and Treasury administered 529 plans. The National 529 College Savings Plan has prepared an age-by-age guide on college savings dubbed Roadmap for Their Future to offer general guidance on college preparation.

CollegeCounts offers tax advantages for Alabama residents. Savings grow free from federal and state income tax, and withdrawals remain tax-free when they are used for qualified education-related expenses. The plan requires no minimum contribution and allows family members and friends to make contributions to the account as well.

“Although we are proud of the $1.8 billion saved so far, we think that this is only the beginning,” said McMillan.

To learn more about CollegeCounts, Alabama’s 529 Fund, visit www.collegecounts529.com

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Governor Kay Ivey has issued a State of Emergency in response to the pandemic influenza outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19). As a result, the Office of State Treasurer is operating with limited staff until April 6, 2020. Therefore, response time may be longer than normal. For immediate assistance, please contact alatreas@treasury.alabama.gov or 334-242-7501.