August 1, 2023

Headed to College: See How Future Scholar’s Flexibility is Part of the Plan

As summer winds down, students are heading to college campuses - and many of their parents are facing a variety of college costs.

If you’re the parent of a college-bound student, Future Scholar’s flexible spending is ready to help you pay for a wide range of expenses associated with higher education. And if you’re planning for a young child’s future education, it’s good to know how Future Scholar’s flexibility helps you keep your options open.

Near or far, your 529 funds will follow.

You’re smart to plan now for your young child’s higher education, but you know you can’t predict the future. Luckily, with Future Scholar’s flexibility, you won’t have to. Future Scholar will help you save with confidence until your child is ready to select the perfect place to pursue post high school education.

Whether it’s close to home or at a university across the ocean, 529 savings can take them where they want to go. Funds may be used at accredited public or private colleges, in-state, out-of-state, or across the globe. Future Scholar savings can pay for any accredited technical college or vocational training, two- and four-year colleges, apprenticeships, as well as graduate and professional programs.

S.C.’s 529 Plan is there for more than tuition.

While college tuition may be your top-of-mind budget item, other related costs can quickly stack up. Housing and meals are likely to be the next largest expenses. Books and other materials along with equipment can drive your budget up, too. Fortunately, Future Scholar savings can be used to cover room and board, as well as pay for textbooks, supplies, laptops, and other items needed for accredited universities, technical colleges, trade schools or culinary schools.

When student loans are unavoidable, Future Scholar gives you options.

529 savings are commonly used to pay for educational expenses up front, avoiding student loans altogether. However, funds may also be applied to outstanding loans. Under the 2019 SECURE Act, a lifetime limit of $10,000 per person can be used to pay off student loans. You can make this flexibility work for you in any number of ways. For example, imagine a child receives a scholarship and doesn’t need all the money in a Future Scholar account. If you don’t want to use the funds for your child’s graduate school or if you don’t need to transfer the funds to another child, you can use it to pay off your own student loan debt you incurred years before. The surplus in the child’s account could be transferred to an account for you as the parent and used to repay up to $10,000 of that loan.

Savings can be used for K-12 education, too.

While opening a Future Scholar account is a smart way to start saving for college, you can also use your savings to cover tuition at private elementary and secondary schools. Funds from your 529 plan can pay for up to $10,000 of tuition per year, per beneficiary. The money you contribute to a Future Scholar account and use for this purpose will also give you access to the same tax benefits, including state income tax deductions.

Budget now to make Future Scholar’s flexibility work for you.

It’s never too early to work out your family’s college budget, whether your child is heading to kindergarten or entering high school this fall. Future Scholar provides college savings calculators and other budgeting tools to help you develop the right plan for your family.

Future Scholar also makes it easy for you to start now and save more. Anyone can open an account online at any time, with any amount. Contributions are 100% tax deductible on your S.C. tax returns. And when you opt for automated contributions, you customize a smart, steady savings approach that will help you reach your goal. Future Scholar flexibility makes it easy!