Back to school: A 529 college savings pop quiz

Common 529 college savings plan questions answered

It’s hard to believe, but it’s already back-to-school season — which means there’s no better time to do a little homework of your own and brush up on your family’s college savings plan. As your children gear up for another year of book reports and group projects, put your own knowledge to the test with a quick pop quiz on 529 plans.

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Factoring a gap year into college savings

Can 529 funds be used for gap-year expenses?

I recently had a parent ask me if their child’s 529 college savings account money could be used to help pay for gap-year expenses. Here’s the short answer: Maybe.
If you’re hoping to use your child’s 529 account to pay for travel, extracurricular activities, insurance or medical expenses, the answer is no. If you’re hoping to pay for tuition and fees, books and other qualified educational expenses, then the answer is maybe. Let’s take a closer look at this relatively new option for high school graduates and how a 529 account might play a role.

What is a gap year?

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Doing the math: How many 529 plans do you need for your family?

What to consider when saving for multiple children’s college educations

Paying for college can be expensive, especially when you have multiple children. A 529 college savings plan can be a great way to save for their higher education needs — but should you use one account or a separate account for each child? As a father of three kids, I know that sharing toys among siblings can be nearly impossible. Sharing a 529 isn’t impossible — but is it the best solution? Let’s find out.

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FAFSA deadline: It’s not too late to submit your application

Parents have until June 30 to apply for federal financial aid

Today’s parents are all too aware that higher education comes with a sky-high price tag, but financial aid can offer a real lifeline when it comes to mounting college costs. Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) may lead to considerable education savings through federal grants and work study funds — but many Americans never even apply for fear they won’t qualify.

What these parents don’t know is

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529 College Savings Day: The journey to higher education begins with college savings

Celebrate the day by opening a college savings account for the child you love

Persistence is everything — just ask Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, the famed first explorers to summit the world’s tallest mountain, Mount Everest. (Fun fact: That famous peak is located in the Himalayas near Ama Dablam, the mountain pictured in Invesco’s logo.) Several climbing expeditions had come close to reaching the 29,000-foot peak in the years before, but none had succeeded until Hillary and Norgay made history on May 29, 1953.

Now we celebrate 529 College Savings Day on May 29, and it’s worth considering what lessons we can learn from those mountain climbing pioneers.

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