The Emotional Lure of Prepaid College

parents tuition

When is it too early to start planning for your child’s college education?

Matthew Rogers has a 3 month old daughter and his dad has already started making plans for college.  He has started a 529 Plan program which prepays tuition at private colleges and universities.

“I’m saying, as a grandparent, that getting an education is a priority,” said Fred Rogers, the baby’s grandfather.

Here is how the program works:

Families contribute to a trust and get a certificate representing a share tuition at current rates and this proportion remains constant even if tuition rises.  In order to use this plan money must be in the plan for at least three years before it can be used. The plan covers tuition and mandatory fees, but not room and board and other expenses, like books.

The 529 program has its benefits but also a few drawbacks for instance ,students must be accepted at a member college and they do not receive extra points in the admissions office for participating.

Michael Fitzgerald, chairman of the College Savings Plans Network says “I think, is a major problem.”  He argues that “It’s another pressure to put on an 18-year-old student.”   On the other hand plan organizers state that “there is a school for every student.”

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Picture by Kyle and Kelly Adams





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