Louisiana 529 College Savings Plan – START Saving Program
About: The Student Tuition Assistance and Revenue Trust Program, commonly referred to as the “START Saving Program,” is an innovative college savings plan designed to help families contend with the growing costs of educating their children after high school.
The Louisiana 529 College Savings Plan – START Saving program is administered by the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance, under the direction of the Louisiana Tuition Trust Authority, or LATTA. The LATTA is a public body composed of representatives from all of the state’s education governing boards and includes the State Treasurer and one member from each house of the Louisiana Legislature.
Phone #: 1-800-259-5626
Investment Options: There’s three Age-Based Options contain 4 portfolios of underlying mutual funds. Investor can also select between the Louisiana Principal Protection Option (100% invested in the state-managed Fixed Earnings Fund), and 6 Vanguard individual fund options. The investments are managed by Vanguard LifeStrategy funds (in the Age-Based Option), the Louisiana State Treasurer’s fund, and Vanguard Index Funds.
Tax Benefits: Contributions to the Louisiana 529 plan of up to $2,400 per account per year by an individual taxpayer, and up to $4,800 per beneficiary per year by a married couple filing jointly, are deductible in computing Louisiana taxable income. Any unused cap amount with an active account may be carried forward to increase the cap in subsequent tax years. Double deductions of up to $4,800 per year may be claimed for an account opened for an eligible needy, non-related beneficiary. Contribution deadline is December 31.
State Residency Requirements: The account owner or beneficiary must be a Louisiana resident at the time of program enrollment.
Saving for College with Upromise
Upromise is a service that helps individuals save money to pay for college or to pay down existing student loan debt.
Upromise is a great way to save through partnerships with retailers. Similar to a cash back rewards card, this plan puts rewards from retailers into an account that you can use to save money for school or paying down current Sallie Mae serviced student loans.
Once you join Upromise, you simply have to shop at eligible retailers. You can shop online and get anywhere from 1$ to 25% back that is credited to your account. There are more than 600 online retailers, including Target and more, which will give you rewards that can be used for college and tuition expenses.
The beauty of the Upromise program is that you save money for college by simply shopping at the normal stores you visit every day. Upromise was created in partnership with Sallie Mae and is designed to help save for education costs.