June 2, 2021

When Life Happens, Future Scholar is There

Young child with backpack holding mother's hand and walking outside

Experts say that identifying a goal is important to achieving success. Once your goal is set, you’re ready to take aim with a plan designed to help you hit your target. But what happens when you decide to shift your goal? Does your plan have the flexibility to shift with it?

When you save with South Carolina’s Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan, you get important flexibility that lets you use your funds in any of a number of different capacities – regardless of your family’s original goal. When life happens, you have the freedom to make the biggest impact possible on the ones you love most.

Unique and Alternative Ways to use Future Scholar Funds

A child’s educational path is as unique as they are. That’s why Future Scholar is designed to be there for your family whatever path your child chooses.

Whether the choice is to pursue a traditional four-year degree, add a graduate degree, or learn a skill that propels them to their dream career, Future Scholar is ready to adapt so you can put your funds to good use.

Here are a few non-traditional ways in which Future Scholar funds can help your family reach your important goals:

1. Attend a Technical College, Trade School or Apprenticeship Program

With increasing value being placed on tangible skills in the workplace, the higher education industry is experiencing a boom in technical college and trade school enrollment. Students are pursuing degrees in carpentry, electrical, automotive technology, graphic design and more.

If your child prefers to attend a technical or trade school, Future Scholar funds can easily be applied to any accredited school across the nation. Your child can be empowered to acquire the skills they need to rapidly advance in any career field they’re passionate about – from IT technician to master chef.

2. Use it in a Graduate Program

If your child receives a full-ride scholarship to college, congratulations! That’s quite an accomplishment. Nationwide less than 1 percent of students receive enough scholarship money to cover all educational expenses. The truth is most students will need extra funds in order to cover the entire cost of college – even if they receive a scholarship.

But if your child is fortunate enough to receive a full-ride for undergraduate school, you can use Future Scholar funds for a post-graduate program such as law school or medical school, or for a master’s degree or Ph.D. With Future Scholar, your child could potentially finish an educational “career” with two or more degrees and little or no debt.

3. Transfer to a New Beneficiary

What happens if your child ends up getting a full-ride scholarship and wants to stop there? What if your child chooses to forgo higher education altogether and wants to launch straight into the working world?

Future Scholar’s flexibility allows you, as the plan holder, the freedom to change the beneficiary on your account at any time. And as long as the new beneficiary is an eligible relative of the current beneficiary, there’s no federal income tax or penalty.

Kristopher and Natalie of Greenville, SC benefitted from Future Scholar’s flexibility. When Kristopher was growing up, his proactive parents thought ahead and saved money in a 529 account for his college education. But when his plans changed and took him on a path to the military, they decided to utilize those funds to pay for their daughter-in-law’s bachelors and master’s degrees.

“Kristopher was able to attend college while serving on active duty and then complete his education using the GI Bill,” Natalie said. “Thanks to that flexibility, we were both able to finish college with very minimal student loans.” 

You can read more about who the IRS considers a qualified family member here. The versatile list includes children, stepchildren, siblings, parents, spouses, cousins, and in-laws.

Get Future Flexibility with Future Scholar

You may not always know what the future holds, but rest assured that when the time comes to pay for their higher education, Future Scholar will be there for your child. Whether it’s a traditional four-year college degree or a path all their own, the money you save today will be put to good use!

Discover the power of investing in the next generation by opening up a Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan! With three easy enrollment options – including simple online enrollment – you can get started as soon as today, in less than an hour. Click here to learn more!