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Education Matters: How Arkansas Families Can Start Saving Now for College Expenses

The Arkansas College Savings Plans have options for every budget.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - If you don't start saving for college when your child is first born, waiting until later can really break the bank, or even worse, leave you with a lot of loan payoffs.

But, there's a way to start saving early to ensure college is in your child's future and that it's paid for.

On one beautiful day in Little Rock, Emma Willis takes a break from her job at the Arkansas State Treasury to tackle some other important business.

"Day one, it was apparent that I needed to save for college," she says.

Emma has big dreams for her son Kyle.

“I'd like to think my kid is going to go Ivy League. Stanford was the first choice," she says.

Emma started seriously putting money aside when she started working directly with the Arkansas GIFT Plan, a tax-advantaged Section 529 plan that enables parents, grandparents, and just about anyone to put money away for future college expenses and to see the earnings on that money grow tax-free.

"It allowed me to save when I could afford to and how I could afford to," says Emma.

Dale Ellis, manager of the Arkansas College Savings Plan says what you save is totally up to you.

"It really has a lot to do with how much you're putting in and the growth of the mutual fund class that you've chosen to invest in, also Arkansas has a cap on how large an individual 529 plan can be and that's 366-thousand dollars," Ellis explains.

The savings can start anytime.

"I tell people in the delivery room," he says.

Emma started just two years ago.

"Between the gift plan and some hard work," Emma says, she believes Kyle will be ready to hit a college campus no matter where it is.

Click here for more information from the Arkansas State Treasury.
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