State of Georgia Helps Families Save for College

The program has reached a milestone in support and it’s helping create a brighter future for the next generation of college students.

Georgia's Higher Education Savings Plan has surpassed the $200 million mark in contributions.

"It's great the balance is so high. It means a lot of students’ parents are participating and planning for their education in the future,” explains VSU Financial Aid Director Douglas Tanner.

The savings plans, known in financial circles as a 529 account, lets parents set aside money, which will then grow until it’s needed for education.

"These are guaranteed funds. They are not state funds, they can't be cut in the future and they don't rely on outside funding,” Tanner says.

Students say they wish the parents of today would get involved with these college savings plans. They say it would help make it easier to pay for the college experience for generations to come.

"I would because a little bit at a time doesn't seem that bad. It's better than paying a lump sum if you have to send your kid to college with $10,000. It's better to save a little bit over time, just keep chipping away at it,” says VSU freshman Jordan Carpenter.

"I would encourage anyone who can to take part in a college savings plan to do so. It guarantees that they will have money to pay for tuition and fees or money for extra expenses once the student goes to college,” adds Tanner.

Every state has one of these 529 savings plans and the money can be used for any college education, even if it's out of state.