529 Education Savings Plans see 61% growth in four years

by Roby Brock (roby@talkbusiness.net) 460 views 

The Arkansas 529 Education Savings Plan, administered by Treasurer of State Dennis Milligan’s office, allows parents and grandparents to save money for college, vocational school and even public and private K-12 institutions. Funds can be used for qualified education expenses at schools nationwide.

The Arkansas 529 program is a tax-deferred college savings account that students can use at any two- or four-year college, university, technical school, or vocational school in the country. A 2018 legislative change added secondary public, private and parochial schools to that list of educational institutions for which an Arkansas 529 account can be used.

Since 2015, the 529 program has seen a 61% growth in participation. As of July 2019, there are more than 26,000 Arkansas resident 529 accounts averaging about $15,000. Overall, the program’s assets have grown from $568 million to $920 million, according to statistics provided by the Treasurer’s office.

Milligan said when he took office in 2015, he launched an aggressive public relations effort to encourage more sign-ups.

“When I first came in, I explained to my staff my desire to help promote this program,” Milligan said. “We immediately did a 75-county tour talking about the advantages of this program, so there is a saying, ‘Maybe I’d rather be lucky than good,’ but this has been an effort that’s been by design, and now Arkansans, we’re starting to reap the benefits. Some 16,000 account holders when I started, 26,000 account holders now.”

For more information on the 529 program, visit this link or call 501.682.1406. You can learn more about the program in this interview with Milligan.

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