West Virginia State Treasurer John Perdue held a Facebook Live event today on the WV Treasury Facebook page to announce that West Virginia’s SMART529 Education Savings Solution is on track to surpass $3 billion. During the Live event, he also encouraged West Virginians to invest in their SMART529 account by Thursday, Dec. 31 to receive 2020 state tax advantages.
“We celebrated reaching half a billion dollars in 2005 and $2 billion in 2014. Now, as we go into 2021, SMART529 is approaching $3 billion in assets under management,” said Treasurer Perdue. “I am proud of what my staff and I have accomplished over the years with the SMART529 college savings program. I continue to encourage parents and grandparents to take advantage of all SMART529 has to offer.”
Additionally, Treasurer Perdue announced the upcoming 14th annual SMART529 “When I Grow Up” essay contest for elementary school students. Students in kindergarten through fifth grade can win up to $5,000 invested in a SMART529 account by writing what they want to be when they grow up.
“We started this essay contest to develop a way for students to realize the importance of saving for higher education,” Perdue said. “It really gets children focused and excited about their futures.”
Contest materials will be sent to schools in early January 2021. You can visit SMART529.com/StudentEntry for more information. Teachers can also win $2,500 cash for writing an essay about how they will use the contest in the classroom. That application can be downloaded at SMART529.com/TeacherEntry.
West Virginia residents have approximately $670 million of the almost $3 billion in assets in the program. While SMART529 is based in West Virginia, residents from other states may also establish accounts.
West Virginia residents who contribute to the fund receive both state and federal tax advantages. Participants have until Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020 to receive the tax benefits for the 2020 tax year.
See below for Facebook link and video clips:
SMART529, a program of the West Virginia State Treasurer’s Office, is West Virginia’s 529 tax-advantaged savings plan. It’s designed to encourage families to save for qualified higher education expenses, such as tuition, fees, equipment and supplies. SMART529 savings may be used at colleges, universities and trade schools around the nation. *It may also be used for K-12 tuition (up to $10,000 per student per year). For more information on West Virginia’s SMART529 plans, visit www.SMART529.com