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Utah's 529 plan ranks high nationwide

By Mary Richards | Posted - Nov 20th, 2012 @ 10:15am

SALT LAKE CITY — Some financial analysts say if you are looking at investing in a 529 college savings plan, check the plan carefully first. But Utah's official state plan still gets high marks.

A Fox Business article recently pointed out some other states are not getting good reviews for their 529 plans. But the Utah Educational Savings Plan does get high ratings.

Executive Director Lynne Ward says it's a priority for Utah to have young people attend and graduate from college.

"One of the main components of being successful in college and being able to focus on your studies and take out fewer student loans is the fact that you were able to save for college ahead of time," she said.

Ward says most of Utah's 529 accounts are owned by people out-of-state.

State 529 plan ratings

  • Alaska
  • Maryland
  • Nevada
  • Utah
  • Arkansas
  • Michigan
  • Ohio
  • Virginia
The rest:
19 bronze, 33 "neutral" and four "negative"

"These are independent ratings, and people across the country have taken note of this," Ward said, adding 20 percent of the accounts have been set up by grandparents.

"That also doesn't mean the students themselves can't contribute and start saving on their own," she said.

Ward says the UESP 529 plan has no minimum requirement, can be used at in- or out-of-state colleges or universities, can get a tax credit, and the money grows tax-deferred.

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