Missouri State Treasurer Sarah Steelman has declared May 29 as “529 College Savings Day,” in part to draw attention to the tax-advantaged college savings plans and to roll out a new Web-based resource that allows family and friends to make online contributions. 

“A college savings account is one of the most meaningful gifts anyone can give, and now we’ve made it easier for Missourians to do that through MOST529 and Upromise Investments,” Steelman said.

 

The Vanguard Group Inc., and American Century Investments are the investment managers for the plan. So far, the plan is only available for Missouri residents. The minimum gift amount is $25.

 

Only 13% of the Way

 

Separately, Wednesday, Fidelity Investments released research showing that parents of high school seniors have only 13% of the $100,000 needed to fund a four-year college education.

 

“As college tuitions continue to rise yearafter year, financial aid and loans can be part of the overall savings strategy, but it should not be a substitute for starting to save early and often in a tax-advantaged account, like a 529 plan,” said Joe Ciccariello, vice president of college planning, Fidelity Personal & Workplace Investing.

 

Because assets in a 529 plan are considered those of the parent and not the child, a 529 account can have a relatively small impact on financial aid, the report said. Savings accounts in the child’s name may have a larger impact on financial aid eligibility.

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