|Question: I opened a college savings plan account for my grandchild many years ago, and he's now filling out financial aid applications. Do his parents need to list the value of the account in their assets, or does my grandchild list the value of the account as his asset?|
You are the owner of the account, not your grandchild's parents and not your grandchild. Therefore, the parents aren't required to list your college savings plan as one of their assets under the federal financial aid rules, and your grandchild doesn't list it as one of his assets. This means that the value of the account won't affect the amount of federal aid your grandchild will receive. However, the financial aid office at a private college may have different rules when disbursing the college's own financial aid.
Later, when the money is withdrawn to pay college expenses, the federal government doesn't count 529 plan withdrawals as income, though colleges generally do.
Note: Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses associated with 529 plans before investing. More information about 529 plans is available in each issuer's official statement, which should be read carefully before investing. Also, before investing, consider whether your state offers a 529 plan that provides residents with favorable state tax benefits.