Vermont’s 529 college savings plan tops $350 million in assets

Vermonters are giving the gift of education and earning tax credits too

Investments in Vermont’s 529 college savings plan now top $350 million, the Vermont Student Assistance Corp. announced on Nov. 29. Vermont’s plan, the Vermont Higher Education Investment Plan, or VHEIP, has paid out over $143 million to help more than 5,800 students over the years to continue their education.

“We know that students from families who save even a small amount for education are three times more likely to continue their education,” said Scott Giles, president and CEO of VSAC, which administers the 529 plan for the state.

Vermont has one of the most competitive and well-run 529 plans for its size, including strong performance on the investments and the second-lowest management fee among our peers, Giles said. In addition, Vermont provides a nonrefundable tax credit of 10 percent of the first $2,500 contributed per beneficiary, per year. Contributions made by Dec. 31 qualify for a 2017 Vermont income tax credit.

“Our goal is to provide families with a college savings plan that is affordable, accessible and flexible,” Giles said. “Every dollar saved is a dollar you don’t have to borrow.”

VHEIP accounts can be started with as little as $25. Or you can give a gift of any amount to an existing account. VHEIP’s website provides comprehensive account and program information, and includes online enrollment, e-gifting instructions and other services. Information and applications can also be obtained by calling (800) 637-5860.

The Vermont Student Assistance Corporation is a public, nonprofit agency established by the Vermont Legislature in 1965 to help Vermonters achieve their education and training goals after high school. VSAC serves students in grades 7 through 12 and their families, as well as adults returning to school, by providing education and career planning services, need-based grants, scholarships and education loans. For more information, go to VSAC’s website.