PA Treasury Encourages Families to Contribute to Pa 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan before Tuition Rates Increase at Most Schools

Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella today reminded Pennsylvania families to make a contribution to their PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan (GSP), before most institutions of higher learning increase tuition rates on September 1.

“Pennsylvania’s parents and families know how hard it is to be prepared for the cost of their child’s future education. But by making a GSP contribution today, they can lock in tomorrow’s tuition at today’s prices. Locking in that cost is incredibly helpful to a family that’s working to save for a college or career program, and I hope more families take advantage before September 1st.”

 Pennsylvania Treasurer, Joe Torsella

The PA 529 GSP gives families in Pennsylvania the ability to save for a future college or career education at today’s tuition rate. When a contribution is made, a tuition credit is earned at the tuition level that is selected at the time of enrollment. Tuition levels include a number of average tuition levels such as the Community College Average, the State System of Higher Education Average, the State-Related Universities Average, as well as tuition levels for specific schools like the Shippensburg University, Harrisburg Area Community College, and the Pennsylvania College of Technology. When a tuition credit rate increases, account owners are assured that tuition credits grow in value to match the increase. Tuition credits are usable at any school that is eligible to receive federal financial student aid in any state.

This year, Penn State University and the University of Pittsburgh froze their tuition rates for the 2018-19 school year. As a result, Treasurer Torsella has decided to refund premiums for families saving at Penn State, Pitt, and the state-related university average tuition level for the 2017-18 school year. Additionally, Treasury will waive premiums for the 2018-19 school year for families saving at those tuition levels.

“I commend Penn State University and the University of Pittsburgh for freezing tuition rates for the 2018-19 school year. It is encouraging to see universities taking steps to increase access and affordability for Pennsylvania students,” said Torsella. “While schools and universities across the state work to provide high quality experiences to their students, tuition cannot continue to rise faster than the paychecks of Pennsylvania families. This is an important step in controlling costs, and I hope to see this continue.”

 Pennsylvania Treasurer, Joe Torsella

For 25 years, Pennsylvania families have been saving for higher education using the PA 529 College Savings Program. PA 529 sponsors two plans – the PA 529 GSP and the PA 529 Investment Plan (IP), which allows account owners to choose how contributions are invested from a list of 16 options. PA 529 IP returns are based on financial market performance, whereas PA 529 GSP returns are based on tuition increases.

Current and future college students in Pennsylvania have over $4.7 billion saved for higher education, between both PA 529 College Savings Plans.