529 Georgia Higher Education Savings Plan

Under this program, any employee who receives a VSU paycheck may open a college savings account, including student employees, temporary employees, and benefit-eligible employees.

To open a Georgia Higher Education Savings Plan college savings account, you may call Human Resources & Employee Development to obtain an enrollment packet or contact TFI directly (read below) to enroll. If you wish to use payroll deduction, you must contact Human Resources & Employee Development.

Enrollment

Regardless of whether you enroll through TFI or Human Resources & Employee Development, you must complete all required paperwork.

Contact TFI directly at 1-877-424-4377 or obtain enrollment materials by visiting the Georgia Higher Education Savings Plan Web site. You must forward the original application to TFI in order for your account to be activated. If you are interested in payroll deduction, please see the information below.

If you wish to use payroll deduction

You may open a Georgia Higher Education Savings Plan college savings account with as little as $25 per month made through payroll deduction, with help from Employee Benefits. Please call 706-542-1814 for a packet of information and forms. For payroll deduction, you must complete:

If you do not wish to use payroll deduction

You may contact Human Resources & Employee Development or you may open an account directly with TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. (TFI). TFI has contracted with the Georgia plan to provide investment and management services. TFI offers five different investment options. Also, you are not restricted to the Georgia plan and may investigate the possibility of an educational savings plan sponsored by another state by contacting that state directly. (However, the payroll deduction option is available only for contributions made to the Georgia Higher Education Savings Plan.) You may contact TFI by calling toll free 1-877-424-4377 or visiting their Web site

You may make contributions for each beneficiary until each account reaches a balance of $235,000. When the time arrives for your beneficiary to attend college, qualified expenses (withdrawals), including tuition, fees, required books, supplies, room and board, and other related expenses will be exempt from both federal and Georgia income tax. Although your initial payroll contributions are not made on a pre-tax basis, parents and guardians, who file itemized returns and fall under certain income levels, may take a state income tax deduction for contributions up to $2,000 per year. Contact your financial advisor to determine if you are eligible to take this deduction.

You are solely responsible for all investment decisions regarding your participation in the Georgia Higher Education Savings Plan.