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 GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGOP lawmakers distance themselves from Trump comments on transfer of power The Hill's 12:30 Report: Ginsburg lies in repose Top GOP senators say Hunter Biden's work 'cast a shadow' over Obama Ukraine policy MORE (R-Iowa), Robert CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseySecond GOP senator to quarantine after exposure to coronavirus GAO report finds brokers offered false info on coverage for pre-existing conditions Catholic group launches .7M campaign against Biden targeting swing-state voters MORE (D-Pa.), Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrHillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns Bipartisan representatives demand answers on expired surveillance programs Rep. Mark Walker says he's been contacted about Liberty University vacancy MORE (R-N.C.), Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerFBI director casts doubt on concerns over mail-in voting fraud Democrats call for declassifying election threats after briefing by Trump officials It's time to upgrade benefits MORE (D-Va.), Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Washington on edge amid SCOTUS vacancy The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by National Industries for the Blind - Trump seeks to flip 'Rage' narrative; Dems block COVID-19 bill GOP senators say coronavirus deal dead until after election MORE (R-Kan.), Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinPelosi hopeful COVID-19 relief talks resume 'soon' Congress must finish work on popular conservation bill before time runs out PPP application window closes after coronavirus talks deadlock  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.