The Independent 529 Plan was launched in 2003 in a cooperative effort by a group of private colleges and universities nationally to help families manage the rising cost of higher education. Under the program, individuals can purchase tuition certificates for future redemption at any of the participating private colleges and universities. More than 270 colleges and universities are part of the plan.
“Making a Xavier education affordable and available to a diverse group of students is very important to our mission of educating students intellectually, morally and spiritually toward lives of solidarity, service and success,” said Michael Graham, S.J., president of Xavier University. “Independent 529 is another tool we can use to insure that Xavier is accessible.”
“This plan is an innovative way for parents to provide for their children’s future education at less than today’s cost,” added Nancy Farmer, president and chief executive officer of Independent 529 Plan. “In return for parents prepaying college costs, member colleges accept the investment risk and protect parents from future tuition increases. 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. In fact, families will pay slightly less than current tuition because each of our participating schools discounts the tuition certificates by at least one-half of one percent per year.”
In addition to Xavier, 16 other colleges and universities in Ohio are part of the plan, including Ashland College, Baldwin-Wallace College, Capital University, Case Western Reserve University, College of Wooster, Denison University, Hiram College, John Carroll University, Kenyon College, Mount Vernon Nazarene University, Muskingum College, Oberlin College, Ohio Wesleyan University, Tiffin University, University of Dayton and Wittenberg University.
Nationally, more than 270 institutions participate in the plan, including Stanford University, Princeton University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Notre Dame, Washington University in St. Louis, Carnegie-Mellon University, Wake Forest University and the University of Chicago.
The 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 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 the plan, go to www.independent529plan.org.