What You Need to Know
- Fifty-one percent said they either didn't know what a 529 plan is or could not answer the question about it.
- Nearly half said the rising cost of higher education is affecting their savings plans.
- But just 11% said they would save more toward their education.
Fifty-five percent of Americans in a new survey said they consider saving for education a top priority, notwithstanding the pandemic and rising inflation, Edward Jones, a financial services firm, reported this week. In last year’s survey, 51% of respondents held this opinion.
At the same time, only 40% of participants recognized a 529 plan as an education savings tool, a tiny improvement from last year. Fifty-one percent said they either did not know what a 529 plan was or could not answer the question about it.
Only 19% of respondents were aware that 529 plans fund more than just higher education.
“We’re excited to see that Americans’ steady focus on education savings has not waivered despite continued curveballs like inflation and rising costs,” Steve Rueschhoff, leader of managed investments and insurance at Edward Jones, said in a statement.
“That said, Americans are leaving money on the table by not leveraging critical savings strategies such as 529s.”
Morning Consult conducted Edward Jones’ 11th annual 529 awareness survey among a national sample of 2,220 adults.
Reconsidering Savings Strategies
The survey found that among those who are more or less likely to consider changing their education plans, 49% cited the cost of higher education as the primary factor, 37% pointed to inflation and 28% said COVID-19.