Quick Answer: Does Having A 529 Hurt Financial Aid?

What’s better than a 529 plan?

A 529 savings plan is one of the best ways to save for a child’s college education, but there are alternatives.

Custodial UGMA and UTMA accounts can be used for purposes other than education.

Roth IRAs have tax advantages similar to 529 plans and they don’t count as assets for financial aid purposes..

Is a 529 plan better than a savings account?

529 plans offer a greater return on investment along with the greater complexity and greater risk of loss. Other important benefits of 529 plans include better financial aid and tax treatment of the savings.

How much can I add to a 529 per year?

There are no annual contribution limits on how much you can contribute to a 529 plan. However, contributions to a 529 plan count as gifts for gift-tax purposes. Contributions beyond the annual gift tax exclusion may be subject to gift taxes.

Can I buy a computer with 529 funds?

Can you use 529 funds to buy a computer? … Savings can indeed be used to buy a computer or pay for internet access as a qualified higher-education expense. An iPad used for college would also qualify, as would any related peripheral equipment, such as a printer.

Do 529 plans get reported on fafsa?

Parent-owned 529 plans are reported as a parent asset on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), regardless of whether the beneficiary is a dependent student or the student’s sibling.

Is it better for a parent or grandparent to own a 529 plan?

— Instead of opening a 529 themselves, grandparents can contribute to a parent-owned 529 plan, which reduces eligibility for need-based financial aid only up to 5.64 percent of the net worth of the assets. — Grandparents can open an account and reap any state tax deductions for themselves.

Do you report siblings 529 on fafsa?

529 plans owned by a parent, including a sibling’s 529 plan, are considered parent assets on the FAFSA. 529 plans owned by anybody else, including a sibling, grandparent, aunt or uncle, are not reported as assets on the student’s FAFSA.

Should a 529 be in the grandparents name?

Generally, if a 529 plan is owned by a dependent student or a dependent student’s parent, it has a minimal impact on eligibility for need-based financial aid. But, if the 529 plan is owned by anybody else, such as a grandparent, aunt or uncle, it will hurt aid eligibility.

How much do parents assets affect fafsa?

Only up to 5.64 percent of a parent’s assets are considered available funds to pay for college, compared to 20 percent of a student’s assets. Higher EFC = less financial aid! Withdrawals used to pay for college are not included on the FAFSA, except when the account is owned by a grandparent or other third party.

What can I do with leftover 529 money?

6 ways to spend leftover 529 plan moneyTransfer the 529 plan funds to another beneficiary. … Save the 529 plan funds for your child’s future educational needs. … Use the money to make student loan payments. … Save the 529 plan for a grandchild. … Take advantage of penalty-free scholarship withdrawals.More items…•

Is Roth IRA better than 529?

A Roth IRA offers fewer tax benefits than a 529 plan IF the money is used for higher education. 529 plans allow for tax-free withdrawals of earnings, while Roth IRAs do not (at least, not until you’re age 59-1/2). Some states offer income tax deductions for contributions to a 529 plan. Roth IRAs never get this benefit.

Do I need receipts for 529 expenses?

You don’t need to provide the 529 plan with evidence that you will be using the money for eligible expenses, but you do need to keep the receipts, canceled checks and other paperwork in your tax records (see When to Toss Tax Records for more information), in case the IRS later asks for evidence that the money was used …

Why a 529 plan is a bad idea?

A 529 plan could mean less financial aid. The largest drawback to a 529 plan is that colleges consider it when deciding on financial aid. This means your child could receive less financial aid than you might otherwise need.

What are the drawbacks of a 529 plan?

Disadvantages of using a 529 plan to save for college529 plan funds must be spent on qualified expenses to avoid tax and penalty. Non-qualified distributions are subject to income tax and a 10% penalty on the earnings portion of the distribution. … 529 plans owned by a third-party can hurt financial aid eligibility.

Are 529 accounts worth it?

529 plans typically offer you unsurpassed tax breaks. Earnings in a 529 plan grow tax-free and are not taxed when they’re withdrawn. This means that however much your money grows in a 529, you’ll never have to pay taxes on it. However, you do not get to deduct your contributions on your federal income tax return.

Can a 529 hurt financial aid?

The 529 is not counted as an asset on the FAFSA form, but like non-custodial parents, withdrawals from the 529 plan are counted as student non-taxable income and up to 50% of the value of the withdrawal could impact financial aid.

What happens to the money in a 529 plan if the child does not go to college?

If assets in a 529 are used for something other than qualified education expenses, you’ll have to pay both federal income taxes and a 10 percent penalty on the earnings. (An interesting side note is that if the beneficiary gets a full scholarship to college, the penalty for taking the cash is waived.)

Can a 529 plan lose money?

If you invest in a 529 college savings plan, and that plan puts your money in a variety of investments as most do, you can lose money. That’s because these investments, ranging from stocks to bonds, can go down in value. It’s just like your retirement accounts.