How to lock in tuition at 270 private colleges

A new online resource debuted last week to showcase one college savings option for future students and their parents, U.S. News reports. On, users can learn about the Private College 529 Plan, a savings vehicle that allows account holders to purchase prepaid tuition certificates to one of 270 (and counting) private colleges, including Brandeis University, Claremont McKenna College, and Wake Forest University. Parents who can bundle away $2,000 now, for example, are effectively purchasing $2,000 worth of today’s tuition at one of the participating private colleges, no matter when they claim it. Unlike in state-sponsored prepaid tuition plans, which are guaranteed only if state budgets remain fully funded, the private schools pledge to accept the tuition certificates purchased when tuition was lower. Opening a Private College 529 Plan does not guarantee admission to any of the participating schools; in fact, colleges do not give special consideration to account holders during the admissions process, says Nancy Farmer, president and chief executive officer of the Tuition Plan Consortium, which oversees the Private College 529 Plan…

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