Saving for college on rise in area

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IDeal, Idaho’s 529 College Savings Program, reports that Idahoans have more money in IDeal college savings accounts than they did last year, and that Idaho children received more money as gifts in their college savings accounts than they did last year (or any year prior). The findings are part of a new report, “State of College Savings in Idaho,” released by IDeal.

The report data revealed several encouraging facts:

• Idahoans have almost $10 million more in in IDeal college savings accounts than they did this time last year, an increase that can be attributed in great part to market performance and conditions of the savers’ investment plans.

• Over the past year, Idahoans opened more than 4,500 new college savings accounts, an increase of almost a thousand compared to the number of accounts opened the year prior.

• North Idahoans opened 720 new IDeal college savings accounts over the past year, which is 35 percent more accounts than were opened in the previous year. The North Idaho region led the state in year-over-year percent increase in new college savings accounts opened.

• Loved ones gifted almost $265,000 to North Idahoans’ college savings accounts, an increase of 74 percent over the year prior.

• People gifted $62,000 to Bonner County college savings accounts this year, an increase of 246 percent over the year prior.

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. The report comes amid growing concern locally and nationally about ballooning student loan debt and rising tuition costs.

“Widespread reliance on student loans cannot be the status quo if we wish to sustain the work being done across our state right now to improve college-going rates,” Christine Stoll, executive director of IDeal, said. “High loan balances can stall economic adulthood and lead to missed financial opportunities. Idaho’s work to fund more scholarships is a meaningful and necessary first step. Long term, families also need a financial tool over which they have more direct control such as Idaho’s 529 College Savings Program.”

IDeal is located within State Treasurer’s office and is administered by the Idaho College Savings Program Board. Ascensus Broker Dealer Services, LLC serves as program manager.

For more information about the Idaho College Savings Program (IDeal), call 866-433-2533 or visit to obtain a Disclosure Statement. The Disclosure Statement discusses investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information. Because investing in IDeal is an important decision for you and your family, you should read and consider the Disclosure Statement carefully before investing.

If you are not an Idaho taxpayer, consider before investing whether your or the beneficiary’s home state offers any state tax or other state benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors that are only available for investments in such state’s qualified tuition program.

For more information, about IDeal, contact Christine Stoll at 208-332-2935,, or visit

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