Saving For College
For information about the Future Scholar 529 PalmettoBaby Grant,
Future Scholar offers special tax benefits for South Carolina residents, including:
- Tax-deductible contributions from your state income tax returns
- Tax-deferred growth potential, year after year
- Tax-free withdrawals, provided funds are used for qualified higher education expenses
What is a 529 Plan?
Created under section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) and sponsored by individual states, 529 plans are tax-advantaged education savings vehicles held by an account owner for a designated beneficiary. Beginning in 2002, changes to the Internal Revenue Code have rendered these plans more attractive than many other savings vehicles in tax treatment of withdrawals used for qualified education expenses.
What is Future Scholar?
Future Scholar is the 529 college savings plan sponsored by the State of South Carolina and administered by the Office of State Treasurer.
Future Scholar Helps South Carolinians Save for College
Future Scholar is designed to help make saving for college easier. Future Scholar funds can be used to pay for tuition and qualified higher education expenses at eligible two and four-year public and private colleges, and graduate, professional and certain vocational programs.
- Total Plan Accounts: 102,000
- South Carolinians Enrolled: 69,000
- Non-SC Residents Enrolled: 33,000
- Total Assets Under Manager: $1.92 Billion - Total Plan Assets up 41% since 2011
- Direct program lowest fees in the country
- Advisor program fourth lowest fees in the country
- Morningstar Bronze Award---Morningstar® has awarded a Bronze rating for both Direct and Advisor Programs
- SavingforCollege.com awarded its best rating, "5 CAPS"
- More than $1.2 billion invested by SC residents
- Marketing campaign not paid for with State Funds
*As of December 1, 2013
Future Scholar consistently earns high rankings from Savingforcollege.com , a website which ranks every state's college savings program. The South Carolina Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan has the highest ranking of FIVE CAPS.
Additionally, Morningstar Fund Research gave both our plans a Bronze rating. In a report by in the 2013 529 College-Savings Plans Industry Survey published April 22, 2013 they said:
"Several states aggressively negotiated for lower-cost investments in 2012 as their 529 program management contracts were up for renewal. South Carolina’s direct-sold Future Scholar 529 program is a notable example . The Columbia-run plan dropped its prices to become one of the cheapest on the market; its average total expense ratio dropped to 0.13% in 2013 from 0.49% in 2011. The underlying investments were formerly a mix of active and passive management and are now entirely passively managed . Additionally, the direct-sold plan has no program management fees. Now the plan is even cheaper than New York's 529 Program and the Utah Educational Savings Plan, which are much larger plans by assets under management and historically had been the lowest-priced index options available to college savers."
Future Scholar Advisor Returns
South Carolina's 529 advisor sold plans consistently rank among the best in the country in returns, including ranking in the top 10% of our peer group in 2013 for one year returns. To see our returns, and compare them with other 529 plans, visit www.savingforcollege.com
One year performance--23rd out of 55 plans (top 42% of peer group)
*source: rankings as of December 31, 2013
Pay in Advance
For the tuition expenses of a child’s college education at any of South Carolina’s public colleges and universities
Created by the 1997 South Carolina General Assembly and is operated under the South Carolina Office of State Treasurer. It offers potentially significant savings over the actual tuition costs at the time the child enrolls in college.