Independent 529 Plan
Tuition prepayment plan enables parents to
lock in tuition rates now for future use
The Johns Hopkins University has become the 257th institution to join Tuition Plan Consortium's Independent 529 Plan, which allows parents to lock in tuition rates at less than present levels for their children's future use.
Independent 529 Plan was launched in 2003 in a cooperative effort by a national group of private colleges and universities to help families manage the rising cost of higher education. Under the program, individuals can purchase tuition certificates for future redemption at participating private colleges and universities, now including Johns Hopkins.
"Many parents are wisely looking even when their children are very young for the best ways to save for college," said Ellen Frishberg, director of student financial services at Johns Hopkins. "I-529 is an excellent tool for families who know they want a private college or university education for their kids. We are very pleased that those families will now have the opportunity to save tax-free for a future Johns Hopkins education.
Nancy Farmer, president and chief executive officer of Independent 529 Plan, said, "This plan is an innovative way for parents to provide for their children's future education at less than today's cost."
"In return for parents prepaying college costs, member colleges accept the investment risk and protect parents from future tuition increases," Farmer said. "Tuition purchased today is guaranteed to satisfy costs at the time the child enrolls. So, a parent who purchases a half-year of tuition today will receive a half-year of tuition when the child later redeems the tuition certificate at a member college. This is true regardless of how much tuition rises or what happens in the investment markets," she said.
"By its participation in Independent 529 Plan, Johns Hopkins shows its strong commitment to making higher education affordable," Farmer said.
Purchasers of I-529 certificates will be eligible to use them for their children who are admitted and enroll as full-time undergraduates to the Johns Hopkins Krieger School of Arts and Whiting School of Engineering.
Johns Hopkins brings to six the number of Maryland colleges and universities which are members of Independent 529 Plan. The others are the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, Goucher College, Loyola College in Maryland, McDaniel College and Mount Saint Mary's College.
Nationally a few of the 257 members of Independent 529 Plan are Amherst College, Princeton University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Chicago, Carnegie Mellon University, Wake Forest University, Syracuse University, Washington University in St. Louis, Smith College, Grinnell College and Emory University.
About Independent 529 Plan
Independent 529 Plan is run by the nonprofit Tuition Plan Consortium and administered by TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing Inc. Funds saved can be used at any of the 257 participating colleges and universities nationwide. Benefits are free of federal income tax, and the plan charges no enrollment or maintenance fees. For more information about Independent 529, call (toll free) 888-718-7878 or visit www.independent529plan.org.
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