BOISE — IDeal, Idaho’s 529 College Savings Program, reports that Idahoans have almost $10 million more in IDeal college savings accounts than they did last year, and that central Idaho children received $107,000 more as gifts in their college savings accounts than they did in any previous years.
Idahoans opened more than 4,500 new college savings accounts, an increase of almost 1,000 compared to last year. However, the accounts opened by central Idahoans decreased by 24 percent.
The findings are part of a new report, “State of College Savings in Idaho,” released by IDeal to shed light on how Idaho families are preparing for the costs of higher education, and to offer suggestions to help more families take advantage of the Idaho program.
The report comes amid growing concern about ballooning student loan debt and rising tuition costs.
“High loan balances can stall economic adulthood and lead to missed financial opportunities," Christine Stoll, executive director of IDeal, said in a statement. "Long term, families need a financial tool over which they have more direct control such as Idaho’s 529 College Savings Program.”
IDeal offers tax-advantaged savings and investment plans. Money saved through an IDeal account can be used at K-12 public, private and religious schools and all higher education institutions that participate in student-aid programs administered by the U.S. Department of Education.