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 GrassleyGrassley: Iowa can't afford to be 'babysitting' unaccompanied minors Anti-Asian hate crimes bill overcomes first Senate hurdle On The Money: Senate confirms Gensler to lead SEC | Senate GOP to face off over earmarks next week | Top Republican on House tax panel to retire MORE (R-Iowa), Robert CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyModerates' 0B infrastructure bill is a tough sell with Democrats Democrats divided on gun control strategy Senate Democrats call on DHS for details on response to Portland protests MORE (D-Pa.), Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrFormer Gov. Pat McCrory enters GOP Senate race in North Carolina Lara Trump leads GOP field in North Carolina Senate race, poll shows Former North Carolina governor set to launch Senate bid MORE (R-N.C.), Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerNew US sanctions further chill Biden-Putin relations Democrats brace for new 'defund the police' attacks Intelligence leaders push for mandatory breach notification law MORE (D-Va.), Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsSenate GOP faces retirement brain drain Roy Blunt won't run for Senate seat in 2022 Lobbying world MORE (R-Kan.), Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinWhen it comes to the Iran nuclear deal, what's a moderate Democrat to do? Battle lines drawn on Biden's infrastructure plan GOP senator hammers Biden proposal to raise corporate tax rate MORE (D-Md.), and Reps. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.) and Ron KindRonald (Ron) James KindRace debate grips Congress Biden's gun control push poses danger for midterms Trump calls on Ron Johnson to run for reelection 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.