529 Plans A Well-Kept Secret, Survey Says

A survey by Nebraska’s NEST 529 College Savings Plan  found that 57 percent of Americans are either unfamiliar with or do not know what a 529 college savings plan is, even though 54 percent of respondents report it is very likely or somewhat likely they or their child will have to take out student loans to pay for a higher education.

The survey also found that 529 plans are one of the least-used options for financing a child’s higher education, with only 13 percent of respondents saying they used the plans to finance their child’s higher education.

The survey found that 77 percent of respondents have never contributed to a 529 plan.The most common methods parents use or plan to use to pay for their child’s higher education include financial aid (50 percent), scholarships (48 percent), personal savings (42 percent), student or parent loans (40 percent) and 529 plans (13 percent), according to the survey.The online survey polled 1,000 U.S. adults.

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