Record $319 Billion Stashed in U.S. College 529 Savings Plans

(Bloomberg) -- Americans are stashing away cash for college.

A record 13.3 million families took advantage of Internal Revenue Service section 529 tax-advantaged savings plans for educational expenses last year -- an increase of 3 percent over 2016, according to the College Savings Plans Network in Lexington, Kentucky.

“No amount is too small to start saving or contribute,” said James DiUlio, the network’s chair.

Total investments by 529 plans, in which earnings used for qualified educational expenses are not taxed, set an all-time high of $319.1 billion last year -- up 16 percent or $44 billion from 2016, the data show.

The average account size also set a record at $24,057.

Year

Average 

Assets (US$b)

Total accounts*

2017$24,057$319.113,264,331
2016$21,383$275.112,865,360
2015$20,190$253.212,540,862
2014$20,474$247.712,098,271
2013$19,584$227.111,596,201
2012$17,174$190.711,103,994
2011$15,349$164.910,743,371
2010$15,492$157.410,160,083
2009$13,188$133.410,115,256
2008$10,690$104.99,812,909

* Total accounts estimated by Bloomberg

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