Georgia’s college savings plan reduces fees, increases state tax deduction

January 30, 2015 – Kennesaw, Ga: Kennesaw State University students walk on the KSU campus as Kennesaw Hall is shown in the background Friday afternoon, January 30, 2015, in Kennesaw, Ga.. PHOTO / JASON GETZ

Governor Nathan Deal recently announced Georgia’s Path2College 529 College Savings Plan — which helps families save for college tuition and related expenses — had reached assets of $2 billion. That number is it twice as much as it was five years ago.

As a result, fees for the plan were reduced by almost 17 percent earlier this month. The plans do not have sales charges, enrollment or other maintenance fees, but account holders will see program management fees fall from 0.12 to 0.10 percent with total Asset Based Fees decreasing to a range of 0.00 to 0.35 percent.

Related: Atlanta-based saving pro, Clark Howard, ranks Georgia’s plan among the best in the country.

The plan launched in 2002 and since then more than 33,000 students have used $520 million to pay for their higher education-related expenses.

“It’s clear that saving for college is becoming more of a priority for Georgians, and while these numbers are impressive, there are still thousands of children with no college savings,” said Tricia Chastain, President of the Georgia Student Finance Authority in a statement.

A Path to College account can be opened with an initial contribution as low as $25 and offers tax advantages to Georgia residents in the form of a state income tax deduction. Earnings from the plans can be used tax-free for qualifying higher ed expenses.

Last year’s Path Act extended the use of 529 funds to computers and related technology. It also allows account owners to transfer funds among investment options twice in a calendar year instead of once.

This year, the state income tax deduction for families filing a joint return will double to a max of $4,000 per beneficiary for contributions made to the Path2College 529 Plan. Those filing single or head of household can deduct contributions up to $2,000 per year, per beneficiary.

“Hopefully all of these enhancements will incentivize families to save even more for their loved ones’ future educational expenses,” Chastain said.

For more information about the Path2College 529 Plan visit www.Path2College529.com.

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