Start saving to stay ahead of the game with 529 accounts

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

Now that your little bundle of joy has arrived or even if he has been here for a while it's time to start saving for college. It pays to plan ahead and a 529 plan can help.

These plans offer tax-deferred savings for future college costs. Such programs are sponsored by states or educational institutions and are authorized by the Internal Revenue Service.

CollegeAdvantage is Ohio's529 college savings program that helps families save and invest on a tax-advantaged basis to fund future higher education expenses of a child or grandchild. Parents, grandparents, family or friends can establish a CollegeAdvantage Account.

Here are some facts about CollegeAdvantage, Ohio's 529 Plan

Tax-free. Funds invested in CollegeAdvantage grow tax-free. Withdrawals used for qualified higher education expenses are exempt from both federal and state taxes.

State of Ohio tax deduction. Up to $2,000 annual deduction from Ohio adjusted gross income per beneficiary with unlimited carry forward of annual contributions that exceed $2,000.

Use anywhere. Funds can be used at any college in the country to pay for tuition, fees, room and board, or books.

Choose your beneficiary. A beneficiary can be of any age and any relation to the account owner.

Transfer and refund options. Account owners can transfer funds to another beneficiary who is a member of the family or request a withdrawal at any time.

Affordable contributions. Contributions can be made online at, through payroll deduction, or electronic funds transfer through a bank account. Contributions can be made for as little as $25.

Professional money management. Benefit from professional money management by leading mutual fund companies. Save with FDIC-insured bank products.

Low fees. Pay no enrollment or maintenance fee and low administrative fees.