Private College 529’s Commitment to Affordability Reaches 20 Years; Celebrates with Incentive for New Savers

BOSTON ~ This month marks the 20th anniversary of the Private College 529 Plan by CollegeWell, the nation's only 529 prepaid tuition plan designed to address private college affordability. Since its inception in 2003, families have redeemed more than $190 million in prepaid tuition at member colleges, reducing their costs by locking in rates years ago.

"Twenty years marks an important milestone for our plan," said Bob Cole, president of Private College 529 Plan. "Our member institutions — many of whom have been with the plan from the start — are committed to college affordability and work hard to bridge the gap between rising tuition and access to a private college education."

To celebrate this milestone, the plan is offering a special incentive of up to $1,000 for families who enroll and save with auto-contributions. The incentive, called the 20th Anniversary Alumni Match, is limited to new savers with children 5 or younger who are alumni of the plan's member colleges.

The advantages of prepaid tuition are clear; with concerns about inflation and the cost of college, families can potentially save thousands of dollars on the cost of undergraduate education with Private College 529 Plan. Families purchase tuition certificates that lock in a percentage of tuition and fees at each member college. The locked-in amount varies depending on current rate of tuition and fees. When families save with Private College 529, they are pre-purchasing tuition at every college in the plan and any that may join in the future. Each member college guarantees the tuition for up to 30 years.

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"From its inception, this plan has focused on affordability," said Ed Kania, chair of Private College 529's board and CFO at Rollins College. "Being part of this plan sends a clear message: our institution is committed to helping families save for college."

Today, Private College 529 Plan and CollegeWell are working for over 6,000 families with more than $330 million under management. The diverse range of member colleges that comprise Private College 529 Plan includes research universities, liberal arts colleges, religious schools, science and technology institutions and more.

Gabi Zola started saving for her daughter Ruthie when she was young using Private College 529 Plan due to its broad range of college options available as well as its ability to lock in rates which could potentially save thousands on undergraduate education costs.

"I loved the Private College 529 model," said Zola. "And there were enough schools in the plan that made it appealing." Their daughter is now a junior at a participating school and they've been able to cover one and a half years worth of her college tuition and fees by saving in the plan.

Ken Weingarten is a Certified Financial Planner who also saw value in saving using Private College 529 Plan due to its federal tax benefits as well as its ability to lock in rates which could be especially beneficial as children get closer to going off to college age.

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"As a financial planner I'm constantly seeking out new options for my clients," said Weingarten "When I learned about Private College 529 I was intrigued." He added that he sees tremendous value in being able to lock in rates especially when children get closer to going off to college age which was an important factor when deciding whether or not he should save for his children using this particular program or not.

Funds saved through this program can only be used for tuition and mandatory fees at member institutions but it works well alongside traditional 529 savings accounts which can be used for room & board books etcetera other higher education expenses if needed be so long as they attend one of these participating schools or if not funds can be rolled over into another type of savings account or beneficiary changed if need be so long as it meets certain criteria set forth by this particular program itself .
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