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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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 GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - The choice: Biden-Harris vs. Trump-Pence Trump grabs 'third rail' of politics with payroll tax pause On The Money: McConnell says it's time to restart coronavirus talks | New report finds majority of Americans support merger moratorium | Corporate bankruptcies on pace for 10-year high MORE (R-Iowa), Robert CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseySenate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Rep. Fred Upton says it is 'tragic' to see Americans reject masks, social distancing; Russia claims it will approve COVID-19 vaccine by mid-August People with disabilities see huge job losses; will pandemic roll back ADA gains? MORE (D-Pa.), Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrHillicon Valley: Facebook removed over 22 million posts for hate speech in second quarter | Republicans introduce bill to defend universities against hackers targeting COVID-19 research | Facebook's Sandberg backs Harris as VP pick Republicans set sights on FBI chief as Russia probe investigations ramp up Davis: The Hall of Shame for GOP senators who remain silent on Donald Trump MORE (R-N.C.), Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerElection security advocates see strong ally in Harris Democrats ramp up warnings on Russian election meddling Hillicon Valley: Facebook removed over 22 million posts for hate speech in second quarter | Republicans introduce bill to defend universities against hackers targeting COVID-19 research | Facebook's Sandberg backs Harris as VP pick MORE (D-Va.), Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsMcConnell warns control of Senate 'could go either way' in November Davis: The Hall of Shame for GOP senators who remain silent on Donald Trump McConnell goes hands-off on coronavirus relief bill MORE (R-Kan.), Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinPPP application window closes after coronavirus talks deadlock  Congress eyes tighter restrictions on next round of small business help Senate passes extension of application deadline for PPP small-business loans MORE (D-Md.), and Reps. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.) and Ron KindRonald (Ron) James KindWisconsin Rep. Ron Kind wins primary Democrats exit briefing saying they fear elections under foreign threat Bottom line 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.