Pa. touts college savings plan

As the new school year nears, the state Department of Treasury is reminding Pennsylvanians enrolled in the commonwealth’s college savings program to contribute before Saturday to maximize their savings.

The main selling point of the state’s 529 College Savings Program, so named for its section of the federal tax code, is that anyone who kicks money into one will see his or her savings grow at the rate of inflation.

At the state Treasury, they have a snazzy slogan for this: “If you have enough for one semester of college today, you’ll have enough for one semester of college tomorrow.”

Every year, schools set their tuition rates, and those rates take effect on Sept. 1.

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Those with 529 plans would benefit by depositing money before then, so they can have the advantage of an extra year’s worth of growth, says Doug Rohanna, the deputy state treasurer for external affairs.

The treasurer’s office also recognizes September as “Savings Month,” and is allowing those without a 529 savings plan to open one at no cost until Sept. 30. The usual enrollment fee is $50.

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