A college education is an investment in a child’s future. In the face of rising higher education costs, our nation should be doing what we can to help families make that investment.

With more than 12 million accounts open, 529 college savings plans have proven to be a successful way for families to manage college costs and ease the reliance on student loans. Additionally, studies have found that students with a college savings account of any amount of money are six to seven times more likely to attend college than similar students with no dedicated college savings.

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Congress needs to ensure that these vital savings vehicles remain as affordable, effective and versatile as possible to ensure families have greater financial access to education in this country.

H.R. 529 and S. 335, legislation that has passed the full House and been reported out of the Senate Finance Committee, would do just that. The legislation, which passed the House with an overwhelming support of Republicans and Democrats by a vote of 401-20, would allow college students to use 529 funds for computers and other school-related technology and electronic equipment.  It would also allow students to redeposit funds back in a 529 within 60 days without penalty if they need to withdraw from a college class. 

These plans were designed specifically to help families achieve their higher education savings goals. None of these changes are costly to the government. Rather, they are common sense measures designed to help families save for higher education costs.  Improvements in this bill will help put a college degree within reach of more of our country’s youth.

We thank those Congressional leaders who have been key in driving this legislation forward including Sens. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyEx-Rep. Abby Finkenauer running for Senate in Iowa Six takeaways: What the FEC reports tell us about the midterm elections Senate committee to hold hearing following FBI watchdog's report on Nassar case MORE (R-Iowa), Robert CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyLawmakers introduce bipartisan Free Britney Act A plan to address the growing orphaned wells crisis Free Britney movement calls for congressional hearing ahead of DC rally MORE (D-Pa.), Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrBipartisan group says it's still on track after setback on Senate floor Bipartisan group to issue 'promising' statement on infrastructure path forward First responders shouldn't have to tackle tigers MORE (R-N.C.), Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerHillicon Valley: Democrats introduce bill to hold platforms accountable for misinformation during health crises | Website outages hit Olympics, Amazon and major banks Senators introduce bipartisan bill to secure critical groups against hackers Hillicon Valley: Senators introduce bill to require some cyber incident reporting | UK citizen arrested in connection to 2020 Twitter hack | Officials warn of cyber vulnerabilities in water systems MORE (D-Va.), Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsBob Dole, Pat Roberts endorse Kansas AG Derek Schmidt for governor Ex-Sen. Cory Gardner joins lobbying firm Senate GOP faces retirement brain drain MORE (R-Kan.), Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinDemocrats pushing for changes to bipartisan infrastructure deal The Hill's Morning Report - 2024 GOPers goal: Tread carefully, don't upset Trump Bipartisan spending deal meets fresh resistance from key Democrats MORE (D-Md.), and Reps. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.) and Ron KindRonald (Ron) James KindBiden's midterm strategies start to come into focus Cotton heads to Iowa to launch 'Veterans to Victory' program Exclusive: Conservative group targets vulnerable Democrats over abortion MORE (D-Wis.). We encourage Congress to keep supporting this legislation, which will have a profound impact on the families who make the financial commitment to save for college.

Recent reports show the next generation of parents has pledged to save more for college education, in an effort to save their children the headache of student loan debt they have endured. We must make sure we are doing all we can to protect and enhance the platforms that let them save.

Lochner is the chair of the College Savings Plans Network and the director of the Washington Guaranteed Education Tuition, the 529 Plan of the State of Washington. Boozer is the state treasurer of Alabama and vice-chair of the College Savings Plans Network.