Report: More U.S. families choosing 529 plans to save for college

A new College Savings Plans Network (CSPN) report  shows 2014 was another good year for the Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP) and the nation’s other 529 college savings programs as total assets under management, number of accounts, and average account balance reached new record highs.

Statistics CSPN released earlier this month underscore the continuing appeal that tax-advantaged 529 programs such as UESP have for families investing for the future qualified higher education expenses of their children or grandchildren.

Total assets under management by 107 college savings and prepaid tuition plans in 49 states and the District of Columbia surged to $247.9 billion as of December 31, 2014. That was a 9.1 percent increase from $227.1 billion in 2013, according to CSPN, which serves as a clearinghouse for information about 529 plans.Print

The number of 529 accounts grew 4.1 percent, rising to 12.1 million accounts at the close of 2014 from 11.6 million accounts the year before, CSPN said.

The average account size reached a record $20,474, up 4.5 percent from $19,584. The average balance in a 529 account increased 49.6 percent in the past 10 years, the group’s figures show.

“Findings from the 2014 year-end 529 Report demonstrate that American families are continuing to invest in 529 plans, one of the most compelling ways for families of all income levels to plan ahead and save for college,” CSPN Chairwoman Betty Lochner said in the report.

UESP, Utah’s official and only 529 plan, managed $7.8 billion in assets at the end of last year. In February 2015, UESP-managed assets surpassed $8 billion, according to UESP.

The number of UESP accounts is growing rapidly, too. On December 31, 2014, the number of accounts was 273,353. UESP accounts topped 277,000 in February 2015.

“A growing number of families find value in UESP,” said Lynne Ward, UESP executive director. “UESP is committed to helping families make their higher education dreams a reality.”

UESP is the fourth-largest direct-sold 529 plan in the nation, according to Morningstar, Inc.

Important Legal Notice

Read the Program Description for more information and consider all investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses before investing. Call 800.418.2551 for a copy of the Program Description or visit

Investments in UESP are not guaranteed by UESP, the Utah State Board of Regents, the Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority (UHEAA) or any other state or federal agency. However, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance is provided for the FDIC-insured accounts. Please read the Program Description to learn about the FDIC-insured accounts. Your investment could lose value.

Non-Utah taxpayers and residents: You should determine whether the state in which you or your beneficiary pays taxes or lives offers a 529 plan that provides state tax or other benefits not otherwise available to you by investing in UESP. You should consider such state tax treatment and benefits, if any, before investing in UESP.





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