Asset Building Briefs & Summaries Financial Inclusion

Low-Cost State Innovations to Help Families Save for College

While 529 plans are defined in the federal tax code, individual states have considerable latitude to innovate and make their plans more inclusive. Some states have undertaken large-scale initiatives, such as matching contributions or establishing accounts at birth. Other states have been exploring a number of smaller, lower- cost innovations to remove disincentives and increase savings. States are often the testing ground for future federal policies, and several of these initiatives could also be enacted at the federal level.

Project: College Success


Huelsman, M., & Clancy, M. (2009, November). Low-cost state innovations to help families save for college (CSD Policy Brief No. 9-64). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development, and New America Foundation.