SC Treasurer rolls out campaign to help families save for college

South Carolina Treasurer Curtis Loftis
South Carolina Treasurer Curtis Loftis

COLUMBIA, SC (PRESS RELEASE) – September is National College Savings Month, and Treasurer Curtis Loftis wants to increase awareness among South Carolina families about the importance of saving early for college with a 529 plan.

South Carolina’s Future Scholar 529 Plan, administered by State Treasurer Curtis Loftis, is experiencing record sales and new account growth.  “South Carolinians can be proud that more than 130,000 families have chosen to save more than $2.6 Billion in our state’s 529 plan,” reports Loftis.

“National College Savings Month is a great time to remind parents of the worth of a college education and the value of saving early to pay for it,” Loftis added. “The cost of higher education is at an all-time high and has a shorter saving window than other goals such as retirement, so it’s more important than ever to start saving as early as possible.”

Student loan debt is higher than ever.  According to a study by Debt.com, the average education loan debtof a student graduating from a South Carolina college is $29,000. To help lessen the burden of student loans and promote the benefits of saving for college with a Future Scholar 529 plan, Treasurer Loftis has announced a new, statewide multi-media Back to School college savings campaign.

In addition, studies show that saving for college is a smart investment. A 2014 Pew Research Center report revealed that a college education is worth more than ever before. “Among a group of Millennials (those born after 1980) studied who usually worked full-time in 2012, those with at least a bachelor’s degree had median annual earnings of $45,500, well over the medians for people with only some college ($30,000) or a high-school diploma ($28,000). That gap has widened over the years and across the generations,” the report stated.

“Because a college education is so important, we want to make sure that as many families as possible know about the benefits a Future Scholar plan has to offer,” said Loftis.

South Carolina’s 529 savings plan offers parents the following advantages:

Similar to a 401(k), earnings on the plan are tax-free on both federal and South Carolina income taxes as long as the money is used for education.

Contributions are also tax deductible for those who file a South Carolina tax return.

Funds can be withdrawn tax-free for qualified education expenses.

The money saved can be used at most U.S. and many international universities and educational institutions.

Unlike other college and gift funds, parents or other plan holders maintain control over their investment.

“A Future Scholar plan really is the smart, easy way to save for college,” Loftis said.

For more information or to enroll, parents can visitwww.FutureScholar.com.

The Back-to-School campaign is expected to roll out with TV and print ads in several markets over the next couple of weeks. Future Scholar’s marketing campaign is not paid for with state funds.

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