Families sending someone off to college may appreciate the changes being made to some government endorsed college savings plans.
Congressman Ron Kind says the tax-free 529 college savings plans, such as Wisconsin’s EdVest program, have several rules and restrictions that need to be revised, such as what you can and cannot use the money for. “What’s not allowed to be purchased with the money set aside in those accounts are computers and software, yet that’s an important part of learning.”
With the use of computers moving from optional to a necessity, the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly Wednesday 401-20 to pass the College Affordability Action Plan, or House Resolution 529. “The bill that Representative (Lynn) Jenkins and I offered would make that an allowable use of the money, so students could purchase computers and software from their 529 accounts, so they don’t have to borrow money or get the money somewhere else.”
The changes also allow students that have to leave school to save the money and resume classes later, without penalty. “If they have to withdraw from school for some reason, so long as the put it back into the 529 account, it won’t be taxed at that point, and then we tried to streamline the paperwork requirement too, to try to make it simpler.”
Kind says the modern college student needs computers, and they need less debt, so making the program better is the right thing to do. Kind says he will also oppose further cuts to the Pell Grant program, which helps low-income families pay for college.
WSAU, Larry Lee