(Des Moines) — The state program that allows parents and students to save for college is expanding the ways that money can be used.
State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald says one change now allows College Savings Iowa funds to be used for qualified apprenticeship programs. “You can use that money to pay for the supplies and the tuition and stuff you need to do an apprenticeship program. We think it makes that program a whole lot better,” Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald says the change involving apprenticeship programs acknowledges the need for people to fill the jobs. “Electricians and carpenters and bricklayers — all those valuable professions that we need that are great jobs. But these apprenticeships sometimes cost some money for tuition and they may have to buy special tools and things like that. Now, that’s covered by College Savings Iowa,” Fitzgerald says.
The money put into the program had previously been restricted to qualified expenses for a student in college. Another change allows the money to pay off past college expenses. “Families can use $10,000 of money — if they don’t use it to go through college….they can use it to pay off college debt,” according to Fitzgerald. “Because we know college debt is a big problem out there. So they can use up to $10,000 to pay off one child’s college debt.”
The money put into College Savings Iowa can grow and provides a tax break when it is used. “Each individual mom and dad, you can deduct up to $3,439 of the money you put into one child’s College Savings Iowa account. And on top of that, it will grow tax-free from the federal government and the state government,” Fitzgerald says. To learn more about College Savings Iowa, call (888) 672-9116 or visit CollegeSavingsIowa.com.