College Savings Plans Network

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The College Savings Plans Network (CSPN) is a national non-profit association and source of information about Section 529 College Savings Plans and Prepaid Tuition Plans—popular, convenient and tax-advantaged ways to save for college.

Founded in 1991, CSPN is an affiliate of the National Association of State Treasurers (NAST) and brings together administrators of 529 savings and prepaid plans from across the country, as well as their private sector partners, to offer convenient tools and information to help families make informed decisions about saving for college. CSPN collects data quarterly on assets in state-administered college savings programs, monitors federal activities and promotes legislation that will positively affect Section 529 plans, and identifies financial opportunities to help families save for higher education.[2]

CSPN provides a valuable networking opportunity for state officials responsible for administering 529 plans to gather and share their unique innovations and experiences in an effort to significantly increase participation in Section 529 plans and in turn, help the youth of this nation attain education goals.

The Network hosts a website that provides comprehensive information about each 529 plan. It includes a college cost calculator and a 529 plan comparison tool that helps families evaluate 529 plans based on criteria such as state tax benefits, fees, investment options and investment manager.

Executive Board[edit]

The College Savings Plans Network Executive Board is composed of state officials who have been elected by their peers to serve as the leadership team for the organization. Board members serve for one or two year terms and are elected by the membership. The members are as follows.


Officers:

Betty Lochner, Chair Director, Washington Guaranteed Education Tuition

Hon. Young Boozer, Vice-Chair Alabama State Treasurer

Mary Morris, Treasurer Chief Executive Officer, Virginia529 College Savings Plan

Hon. Michael L. Fitzgerald, Past Chair Iowa State Treasurer


Board Members:

James DiUlio Director, Wisconsin 529 College Savings Program

Hon. Ron Estes Kansas State Treasurer

Hon. Lynn Fitch Mississippi State Treasurer

Kathleen McGrath Director, PA 529 College Savings Program

Paul Paeglis Executive Director, Ohio Tuition Trust Authority

Hon. John Perdue West Virginia State Treasurer

Patricia Roberts Corporate Affiliate Committee Chair & Managing Director, AllianceBernstein

Hon. Rich Sattgast South Dakota State Treasurer

Lynne Ward Executive Director, Utah Educational Savings Plan

Data[edit]

529 plan data is collected by CSPN on a biannual basis and made available to states, policy makers, the media and the general public.

In March 2014, CSPN released its Year-End 529 Plan Report which found record-level growth for college savings plans. The review analyzed activity from all 529 plans in the country, including 103 savings and prepaid tuition plans.

The report found that total investment by American families in 529 plans has reached a record level of $227.07 billion. In 2013, total assets in 529 plans grew by $36.4 billion. The total number of 529 accounts increased 4.4% over the past 12 months, going from 11.1 million in December 2012 to 11.6 million as of December 2013. The report also noted that the average 529 account size continues to grow, reaching an all-time high of $19,584 as of December 31, 2013, a 14% increase over the past twelve months. This indicates a continued commitment by American families to save for the cost of a college education. Including growth from contributions and investment returns, total assets in 529 plans grew by 19.1% in 2013.

Legislation[edit]

CSPN monitors federal legislative and regulatory activities and promotes legislation that will positively affect Section 529 college savings plans.

Sources[edit]

  • Clark, Kim (January 16, 2014) “Grow a bigger college fund” Money Magazine
  • Kadlec, Dan (December 9, 2013) 4 Smartest Money-Making Stocking Stuffers TIME
  • Carrns, Ann (May 28, 2013) Incentives to Start a 529 College Savings Plan New York Times
  • Woodruff, Mandi (September 12, 2012) “People Are Finally Figuring Out The Simplest Way To Save For College” Business Insider
  • Gobel, Reyna (September 5, 2012) “Get a 529 Plan Boost From Your State” U.S. News & World Report
  • Block, Sandra (July 16, 2007) “Your Money: Know state taxes before joining a 529 plan” USA Today
  • Gobel, Reyna (September 6, 2012) “3 Myths About Prepaid College Tuition Plans Debunked” U.S. News & World Report

References[edit]

1. ^ "CSPN - About CSPN". Retrieved 2008-12-14.

2. ^ http://www.collegesavings.org/overview.aspx

3. ^ http://www.collegesavings.org/executiveBoard.aspx

4. ^ http://www.collegesavings.org/document_download.aspx?documentID=404