Asset Building Financial Inclusion Report

Section 529 Savings Plans, Access to Post-Secondary Education, and Universal Asset Building

This brief explores the opportunities and current limitations of using 529 savings plans to ensure that the greatest number of Americans are able to pursue a post-secondary education. Particular attention is given to considering the potential for 529 savings plans to serve as a basis for universal asset building. As these plans are still relatively new, this assessment builds on what has been learned to date. We conclude with a series of policy recommendations designed to strengthen the ability of these accounts and savings plans to facilitate greater access to post-secondary education, one of the most significant assets of our time.

Project: College Success


Clancy, M., Cramer, R., & Parrish, L. (2005, February). Section 529 savings plans, access to post-secondary education, and universal asset building (New America Foundation Issue Brief No. 7). Washington, DC: New America Foundation and Washington University, Center for Social Development.