Families are encouraged to save for their children’s education
Huntingdon, PA - Treasurer Stacy Garrity today visited the campus of Juniata College in Huntingdon to promote the PA 529 College and Career Savings Program. She spoke to students in an intermediate micro economics class taught by Wei-Chung Wang, Professor of Economics & Business Administration. Wang, who also serves as Juniata College’s Associate Provost for Academic Initiatives, then led Treasurer Garrity on a tour of the campus.
“Juniata College offers a wide range of academic programs on a beautiful campus in central Pennsylvania. It’s a great place to highlight the benefits of the PA 529 program, which can help families easily save for higher education at a four-year liberal arts college like Juniata just like it can help them save for community college, technical training or an apprenticeship program. Starting a PA 529 account is the perfect way to prepare for future education costs.”
Pennsylvania State Treasurer, Stacy Garrity
“Across the country, college costs continue to climb and many families struggle with how to pay for higher education. That is why Juniata has been, and remains, dedicated to helping students and their families financially plan and manage the costs of a Juniata education. Affordability is fundamental to helping our students pursue their liberal arts education which will become the best investment they’ll ever make. A bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Juniata has lifelong value and we are accountable to educate our students and their families about scholarships, grants, and provide advice and information about other resources and means by which the cost of education can be met.”
Jason Moran, Vice President for Enrollment at Juniata College
Juniata College, founded in 1876, is one of the Top 75 liberal arts colleges in the United States, according to U.S. News & World Report. It is located in Huntingdon County, which is represented in the General Assembly by Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, Senator Judy Ward, and Representative Rich Irvin. Although the General Assembly’s session schedule prevented them from joining today’s tour, all three expressed support for the PA 529 College & Career Savings Program.
“I am proud to represent some of our state’s finest colleges and universities, and I appreciate seeing the lifelong impact these schools have on students. Higher education opens exciting new career paths for Pennsylvanians, helping us create the kind of workforce that attracts new employers to our communities. Treasurer Garrity deserves credit for her sound management of the PA 529 program to bolster our economy and help even more state residents achieve the dream of earning a college degree.”
Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman
“Based on personal experience, I can attest to the merits of the PA 529 College and Career Savings Program. My own children were able to benefit from 529 accounts that were set up by their grandparents. It was a tremendous help to my children, as well as my husband and myself. The 529 program continues to serve as a resource that fosters educational opportunities, enriches lives and strengthens communities throughout our Commonwealth. My thanks to State Treasurer, Stacy Garrity, for her efforts to promote and encourage our families to utilize this outstanding program.”
Senator Judy Ward
“The PA 529 plan is a smart, innovative program that has helped thousands of families save for their child’s education. By using the program, families can save money at a pace they are comfortable with and help avoid large student loans that leave a student with debt upon graduation. I encourage every family to learn more about the program and its many benefits.”
Representative Rich Irvin
In fiscal year 2020-21, more families than ever before opened PA 529 accounts and saved the most money ever in a single year. Last month, Treasurer Garrity eliminated the minimum deposit to open a PA 529 account, making it possible for anyone to start saving with as little as one dollar.
There are two PA 529 plans, the PA 529 Investment Plan (IP) and the PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan (GSP). PA 529 IP account earnings are based on financial market performance. PA 529 IP account owners can choose from various investment options including target enrollment date portfolios. These options automatically rebalance asset allocation as a child reaches their anticipated enrollment date. The PA 529 IP was recently named a ‘best-in-class’ plan by Morningstar, earning a Silver Rating for the second consecutive year. The PA 529 GSP is a lower-risk option, and earnings are determined by tuition inflation. With PA 529 GSP accounts families pay future tuition at today’s prices.
PA 529 IP and GSP account tax benefits include:
- State income tax deductions on contributions (up to $15,000 per beneficiary per year; $30,000 for married couples);
- Contributions grow free of federal and Pennsylvania income taxes;
- No income tax is paid on account withdrawals when used for qualified expenses; and
- Gift and inheritance tax benefits.
An added program benefit is that PA 529 account assets do not affect Pennsylvania state financial aid eligibility.
PA 529 accounts can be used to pay for qualified higher education expenses, including tuition, fees, equipment, books, room and board, and other qualified expenses. Accounts can be used at most schools nationwide including community colleges, technical schools, apprenticeship programs and four-year colleges and universities.