Updates to the Plan Offer Added Benefits for Account Holders
With the cost of college continuing to rise, it is important for families to make saving a priority. Edvest, Wisconsin’s College Savings Plan, continues to make saving for college accessible for Wisconsin families through recent updates to the plan, as well as new promotions aimed at increasing awareness around the state.
Continuing the program’s partnership with the Green Bay Packers, Edvest and the Packers recently unveiled the “Rookie Reporter” promotion. This once-in-a-lifetime experience will award six lucky Wisconsin children with a $1,000 college savings account, as well as the opportunity to interview a Packers player or coach and have their interview air at Lambeau Field during a 2015 regular season game. The winning children will also receive four tickets to the corresponding game.
The promotion is open to Wisconsin residents who are parents, grandparents, or legal guardians of a child age 6-15, who also resides in the state of Wisconsin. To enter, families can visit www.packersrookiereporter.com. Entries must be received by July 15, 2015. No tax dollars have been used for the “Rookie Reporter” promotion.
Along with “Rookie Reporter,” recent updates to the Edvest College Savings Plan continue to ensure that Wisconsin families of all income levels can enroll in Edvest and start saving for college today. With only $25 needed to open an account, contributions made to the plan are eligible for tax advantages. Updated for 2015, Edvest contributions may reduce Wisconsin taxable income up to $3,100 per beneficiary. Additionally, eligibility for the deduction was recently expanded to include any contributor who is a Wisconsin resident, regardless of the relationship between the contributor and the beneficiary.
Allowing for more time to contribute, the annual contribution deadline was moved from December of the previous year to April 15 of each year, giving Wisconsin residents additional time to contribute following the post-holiday rush. Finally, contribution balances greater than the eligible amount each year may be used for subsequent years’ state tax benefits until exhausted.
As Edvest plan benefits continue to improve, more and more students are using Edvest funds to cover or supplement the cost of college. In 2014, over 18,000 students accessed Edvest funds, totaling over $250,000,000. While 40 percent of Edvest dollars are redeemed in the state of Wisconsin, funds can be used outside of the state at thousands of eligible educational institutions nationwide, as well as some abroad, including technical schools, four-year colleges and graduate schools.
“With tuition and other expenses on the rise, some estimates are putting the cost of tuition around $140,000 for public college or university and around $280,000 for private in 15 years,” said James DiUlio, director of the Wisconsin 529 College Savings Program.
“As costs increase, unfortunately so does student debt,” DiUlio added. “Edvest is designed to help families tackle the increasing costs of higher education by helping to ensure that students are less dependent on financial aid, leading them down a path of increased financial freedom post-graduation.”
Acknowledging Edvest as a leading 529 plan, SavingforCollege.com, a recognized resource for information on funding college and section 529 college savings plans, recently ranked Edvest as one of the Top 15 in 529 Performance for the first quarter of 2015, as well as one of the Top 15 Lowest Cost 529 Plans. The program was also awarded a 5-Cap Rating, which indicates that a 529 plan offers outstanding flexibility, attractive investments and additional economic benefits.
Edvest was also awarded a Bronze ranking in 2014 from leading investment research firm, Morningstar, Inc. The Bronze ranking recognized the program’s mix of investment choices, low fees and tax benefits. Edvest was one of only three new programs nationwide to join the bronze-rated group last year.
Edvest is Wisconsin’s 529 College Savings Plan designed to help families save for higher education expenses. It takes just $25 to start an Edvest college savings plan and account owners can choose from more than 22 investment portfolios while enjoying one of the lowest cost 529 plans in the U.S. along with in-state tax advantages for Wisconsin residents.
SavingforCollege.com recently ranked Edvest as one of the Top 15 in 529 Performance for the first quarter of 2015, one of the Top 15 Lowest Cost 529 plans, as well as awarded the program a 5-Cap Rating, which indicates that a 529 plan offers outstanding flexibility, attractive investments and additional economic benefits. Edvest was also awarded a Bronze ranking in 2014 from leading investment research firm, Morningstar, Inc., recognizing the program’s mix of investment choices, low fees and tax benefits; one of only three new programs nationwide to join the bronze-rated group last year.