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Comptroller Peter Franchot encourages enrollment in College Savings Plans of Maryland

8/31/2015, 7 a.m.
Comptroller Peter Franchot joined the College Savings Plans of Maryland on a visit to the Annapolis Regional Library to stress ...

Comptroller Peter Franchot joined the College Savings Plans of Maryland on a visit to the Annapolis Regional Library to stress the significant financial benefits and tax advantages of utilizing college savings accounts. As students head back to school this week, the Comptroller encouraged families to save in one or both of the State of Maryland’s two 529 college savings plans: the Maryland Prepaid College Trust and the Maryland College Investment Plan.

Franchot, who serves as a member of the College Savings Plans of Maryland Board, highlighted the importance of establishing a college savings strategy to reduce or even eliminate the need to borrow money in the future to pay for higher education expenses. The rising cost of a college education has sparked the need for families to start saving early and Maryland’s two 529 plans can be a great option to ultimately lower the burden of student loan debt, which has ballooned to exceed 1.2 trillion nationally.

“In today’s knowledge-based economy, a college education has become an increasingly important to future success,” said Comptroller Franchot. “For years, the College Savings Plans of Maryland has played a vital role in helping families attain higher education with significant tax advantages. With the increasing cost of tuition, now is the best time for parents to begin saving for future education expenses by enrolling in one of Maryland’s 529 Plans.”

Treasurer Nancy Kopp, who chairs the College Savings Plans Board added, “CSPM is committed to making a college education attainable by providing all of Maryland’s families with affordable ways to save for college. Our plans are structured to offer many flexible savings choices that optimally help families to cut the cost of college in half by saving versus borrowing.”

The College Savings Plans of Maryland offers two 529 college savings plans, the Maryland Prepaid College Trust and the Maryland College Investment Plan. The Maryland Prepaid College Trust gives families an opportunity to lock in tomorrow’s tuition at today’s prices and is backed by the assurance of a Maryland Legislative Guarantee. The next enrollment period for the Prepaid Trust will begin on December 1, 2015 and runs through April 20, 2016.

The Maryland College Investment Plan enrollment is open year-round and is managed by T. Rowe Price. The College Investment Plan offers a variety of investment options and families can start with as little as a $25 per month with automatic deductions. Both plans offer attractive federal and Maryland State tax benefits and can be used at nearly any accredited college in the country.