Arizona 529 Family College Savings Program is a paid advertiser of Sonoran Living.
What's AZ 529: Key Benefits for Arizona's College Savings Plan
As the cost of higher education continues to rise, studies show more than 40 million Americans have some student loan debt. Nationally, students who graduated from college in 2017 left school with an average debt of close to $40,000.
Many parents want to help their children save and pay for college, but unfortunately, they don't know where to start. As part of College Savings Month, the Arizona Family College Savings (529) Program is highlighting 529 college savings plans. An AZ 529 plan is one of the simplest ways to start saving for college.
A 529 account is a dedicated college savings account that provides numerous tax benefits for saving. Here are some of the key benefits to know about the AZ 529 plan:
· Tax benefits: AZ 529 plans offer tax savings in a multitude of ways. Savings grows tax deferred, and withdrawals are free of federal and state taxes when used for qualified higher education expenses. And for every dollar saved each year, Arizona residents are eligible for a tax deduction of up to $4,000 as married couples filing jointly, or $2,000 as a single tax filer.
· More than traditional college: AZ 529 plans are flexible. Beyond the traditional 4-year college, funds can be used at community colleges, as well as vocational, technical or trade schools. Additionally, funds can be used for graduate school or at any accredited school throughout the country.
· Pay for more than tuition: College expenses can add up quickly. Funds saved in an AZ 529 account can apply not only to tuition, but to other expenses such as room and board, books, supplies, study abroad coursework, or essential items such as computers.
· No income restrictions: Anyone can open a plan. There are no income restrictions. Money saved in an AZ 529 account will not impact eligibility for Arizona state financial aid awards.
· Ability to change beneficiaries: Once open, the beneficiary of a 529 account can be changed at any time. If the child doesn't use all the funds, or chooses not to go to college, the funds can be transferred to another family member. Savings can also be used for adults seeking to return to school. Additionally, account owners have the flexibility to change thei beneficiaries at their own discretion and without limitation.
· Low starting cost: You can open a 529 at any time with an initial investment of $20 or less.
For more information on an Arizona 529 plan, visit az529.gov.