February 3, 2020

14 Reasons to Fall in Love With a Future Scholar 529 Plan

It’s February, which means a sudden influx of decadent chocolates, overpriced red roses, and cheesy teddy bears. But don’t let Cupid’s spellbinding arrows distract you. It’s the perfect time of year to fall in love with Future Scholar, South Carolina’s 529 college savings plan. Here are 14 sweet reasons why:

1. Full Deduction on South Carolina Taxes

Contributions to a Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan may provide immediate tax savings for you and your family. If you’re a South Carolina taxpayer, your contributions are deductible on your state income tax return. Best of all, you have until the April 15 tax deadline to make contributions for the prior tax year. This means it’s not too late to lower your 2019 tax bill!

2. Tax-Free Growth

While an upfront tax deduction is a nice perk, the real power of Future Scholar lies in the fact that any interest earned is free from state and federal income taxes when you use the earnings on qualified educational expenses. This means you never have to worry about a future tax bill chipping away at your investment portfolio.

3. Simple to Open

Future Scholar makes opening a 529 college savings plan a breeze. It only takes a few clicks and some basic information regarding beneficiaries to get started. You can open an account and start investing right away!

4. Anyone Can Open an Account

You don’t have to be the parent of the beneficiary, or a resident of South Carolina to open an account. Parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and even friends can open an account. In fact, multiple accounts can be established for the same child.

5. No Minimum Contribution

Every little bit helps. That’s why Future Scholar doesn’t require minimum contributions for 529 college savings plans. Whether you want to contribute $25 or $2,500 per month, no amount is too small to begin paving the way for higher education.

6. Hands-Off…

Life gets busy and it’s easy to overlook saving and investing. That’s why we make funding your 529 plan as easy and effortless as possible. With streamlined investment options – including age-based plans – and automated contributions, it’s easier to start saving today.

7. …Or Hands-On

If you’re someone who likes to be a bit more hands-on with your investing, that’s fine too! In addition to age-based options, you can customize your portfolio with different funds and accounts to achieve the proper mix for your liking.

8. Minimal Impact on Financial Aid Eligibility

Financial aid can be a significant factor in paying for college. And with Future Scholar, you don’t have to worry about your account negatively impacting your child’s ability to receive aid. Less than 6% of the account’s value is considered when determining your EFC – or expected family contribution – and financial aid.

9. Scholarships Mean No Withdrawal Penalties

If your student ends up receiving a scholarship for college, you’re able to withdraw the amount of the scholarship without receiving a 10% federal penalty. Earnings on this withdrawal would be subject to federal and possibly state income tax. Remaining funds can be used for educational expenses not covered by the scholarship, or a new beneficiary can be named.

10. Covers More Than Tuition

Tuition is just the start! Your Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan can be used to cover the purchase of textbooks, computers, supplies, and other qualified expenses that are required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible institution.

11. Transferrable

If your beneficiary’s college plans ever change, it’s easy to transfer a 529 plan from one beneficiary to another. Provided the new beneficiary is a qualifying relative of the current beneficiary, these changes are quick, easy, and incur no penalties.

12. Administered by the State Treasurer’s Office

The Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan is administered by the State Treasurer’s Office, which is charged with managing, investing and retaining more than $50 billion in public funds. The plan size has tripled since 2011 and provided peace of mind for many South Carolina families as they prepare for their children’s future.

13. Highly-Rated for Performance and Low Fees

Forbes recently named the South Carolina Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan among the five top-performing plans in the country. In fact, Future Scholar is consistently rated as one of the best college savings plans in the country for both performance and low fees.

14. Can Be Gifted in Multiple Ways

The flexibility of Future Scholar makes it easy for other friends and relatives to contribute to an existing account. Loved ones can even send physical or digital gift cards to you or the recipient.

Open an Account Today

February is the perfect month to fall in love with a Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan. Whether you’re a grandparent, a new parent, or you have children in high school, it’s never too early or late to begin contributing. Open an account today and enjoy the powerful benefits that more than 175,000 Future Scholar account holders have already discovered!