Dec. 12 - College Savings Plans - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Dec. 12 - College Savings Plans

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BALTIMORE, Md - The College Savings Plans of Maryland has announced that the Maryland Prepaid College Trust has opened its 2012 - 2013 enrollment period, which will run through April 8, 2013.

The Prepaid College Trust or Trust is one of two Section 529 plans offered by College Savings Plans of Maryland. The Trust enables Maryland parents, grandparents, and family friends to lock in future college tuition at today's prices and is backed by the extra assurance of a Maryland Legislative Guarantee. Close to 30,000 Maryland children are currently enrolled in the Trust and about 9,300 of them are now eligible to use their account towards attending colleges in Maryland and across the country.

The new Prepaid College Trust prices, posted at CollegeSavingsMD.org, are available from December 1, 2012 until the enrollment deadline of April 8, 2013 for new enrollees. Initial payments are not due until August 1, 2013. The Trust offers purchase options for as little as one semester at the university level or one year of community college. In addition, there are a variety of payment options to help make the plans affordable. Prices for the University Plans within the Trust have nominally increased by approximately 3% over last year, in tandem with the average tuition increase at Maryland's public four-year colleges. The prices for the Community College Plans have also increased approximately 3% over last year's prices.

The College Savings Plans of Maryland, an independent State agency, also administers another tax-advantaged 529 plan – the Maryland College Investment Plan – managed and distributed by T. Rowe Price. The College Investment Plan offers a variety of investment options, with no sales commissions or loads, and enrollment is open year-round. Plus, the Maryland College Investment Plan was recently given a "Gold" Rating from Morningstar Inc. – the third year in a row receiving their highest rating!*

Both 529 plans offer Federal tax benefits and are the only 529 plans that provide a Maryland income deduction for Maryland taxpayers. Plus, the plans may be used at nearly any accredited college in the country. In fact, for the Prepaid College Trust, 56% of all students that used their accounts for the Fall 2012 semester attended out-of-state or private colleges.    

"It is more important than ever for families to plan in advance to meet the rising costs of college; however, saving for all four years of college may be difficult to fit in the family budget," said Joan Marshall, Executive Director of CSPM. "We offer two 529 Plans that are affordable and fairly simple. The Maryland Prepaid College Trust lets you save for college at today's prices and is backed by a Legislative Guarantee, while families can save in the College Investment Plan with as little as $25 a month. It is important to realize any amount saved is significant in reducing the need for student loans. By starting early and saving monthly, families can take advantage of the potential power of compounding growth. A great graphic in our Enrollment Kit Highlights brochure can show you the impact."

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