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Jul 01, 2016 08:18 AM EDT

529 Plan Update: Changes Made Allows University Students To Save More

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The changes made by the Congress to the 529 plan adds a better savings privilege to college students.

The United States Government's 529 plan has undergone changes to give more benefits to its plan holders. Part of the changes allows the college students to buy computer units using the tax-protected money they can get from the 529 saving plan for college.

Until the present, college students are required to prove that owning a computer unit or a gadget was required by the school. This is to justify their made expenses for the purposes of 529 plan. However, the rule change acknowledged that in order to strive in the 21st century education, technologies like computers, laptops or tablets has the same intensity of importance as the textbooks and the pencils, Money Magazine reported.

Also, changes stated that students that fall into sickness and unable to continue can redeposit the refund of the tuition they have withdrawn shortly after the semester started. It is also tax-sheltered.

Computers are no longer a luxury need for the students. In this modern era, computers are a vital part in a college student's life. This helps in communication between students and teachers and checking grades. Furthermore, many classes are now online-based. The Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) could change the shape of the current education system.

Some of the elite schools like Stanford University, Harvard University, MIT and Duke already offers free online courses accessible worldwide. Millions are already using these courses to train and gain better skills.

The first change made last year, 16 September 2015, allows grandparents to tap in the 529 account of their grandchildren without waiting for them to begin their final year in college. Another change, made last 21 December 2015, includes the computer purchase change and the change in the refund system. In 18 March this year, a package of bills were added to strengthen the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. These recent changes include ABLE To Work Act, ABLE Financial Planning Act, and the ABLE Age Adjustment Act, Savingforcollege.com reported.

Currently, there are more than 12 million 529 accounts and holds $258 billion assets. These accounts helps save tax-free money for the education of their children in the future.

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