In a recent study done by the Center for Social Development, it is reported that when a family has a savings account for college (no matter how big or small the savings may be,) raises a young person's educational expectations. What we can take from this is the importance of having an open discussion with your child about the importance of the future of their education, as well as the financial responsibility that comes along with tuition savings. These discussions can instill in them value and self-worth, as well as prepare them for college decision-making. The earlier your family has this discussion, the sooner your child's expectations and aspirations can grow, and change for the better. Higher expectations may lead to increased academic efforts and achievement.
In recent years, the costs of college have out-paced inflation, and continue to grow exponentially with each passing year. Still, nearly 4 in 10 parents of college-bound children are currently not putting money away for college. Such factors demonstrate that access to a higher education and gaining a diploma continue to become more elusive.
September is National College Savings Month. The Nebraska State Treasurer's Office invites you to take time to learn more about opening a Nebraska 529 College Savings Plan. Nebraska's 529 Plan is highly affordable and convenient. It allows for parents and grandparents to save for a loved one's future educational expenses. As an account holder, you decide how and when your savings are used. You also control how much you save each month, or each year. With little to no minimum annual contribution requirements, we are striving to make saving for college accessible to all Nebraska families. Account Owners may also deduct up to $5,000 in plan contributions from their federal adjusted gross income each year on their Nebraska tax return; $2,500 if married filing separately. Contributions must be made or postmarked by December 31 of each year.
In a changing world with an uncertain economy, the best tool we can offer our children to ensure their success and security in life is a college education. The sooner a savings plan is opened, the stronger that account will become and the more time it will have to grow and develop. With College Savings month upon us, help your child put their best foot forward in life by initiating the dialogue on the value of a higher education, and the importance of smart college savings. For more information on the College Savings Plan of Nebraska, or to open your own Nebraska 529 Account, please visit treasurer.org.