Loftis: How 529 College Savings Plans Affect Financial Aid

For parents considering a 529 College Savings Plan such as South Carolina’s Future Scholar, one of the most frequently asked questions concerns financial aid.

“I am often asked how having a Future Scholar College Savings Plan will affect financial aid,” said South Carolina Treasurer Curtis Loftis. “A 529 plan is treated as the parent’s, or the account owner’s asset, not the child’s, in determining eligibility for federal financial aid.”

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In fact, when it comes to what affects financial aid in general, typically it’s the parents’ income that affects the Expected Family Contribution the most, more than parent savings and more than student earnings and savings.

“Either way, it’s still important to begin saving and begin saving as early as possible,” Loftis said. “The more you can set aside for your child’s future today, the more you can lessen their financial burden later when it comes time to pay for college.”

For more answers to other frequently asked questions about Future Scholar, visit

To read more on how 529 plans or other sources of income may affect financial aid, read on: