Oklahoma 529 reaches $1 billion milestone in education savings withdrawals
Over 87,000 Oklahoma families have used OK529 in its 20+ year history to pay for college and reduce student debt
published November 1, 2023
Oklahoma City (November 1, 2023) — State Treasurer Todd Russ today announced Oklahoma families have surpassed $1 billion in withdrawals of Oklahoma 529 funds to pay for education expenses. The milestone means over 87,000 families across the state have invested and used over $1 billion to cover education costs such as tuition, books, housing and fees.
"Since its start in 2000, Oklahoma families in all 77 counties have used Oklahoma 529 to help students develop skills and knowledge for a successful future,” Oklahoma State Treasurer Todd Russ said. “Reaching $1 billion in redemptions shows not only the strength of Oklahoma 529 but also the new, more flexible choice it offers Oklahoma students to achieve their educational goals."
Savings in an Oklahoma 529 account can help minimize education-related debt, which is why Russ says it’s essential to begin saving for education costs now instead of waiting. In addition to college tuition and expenses, Oklahoma 529 funds can be used to help pay for CareerTech, professional and graduate school, K-12 tuition up to $10,000 annually per student and apprenticeship costs for programs registered and certified with the Secretary of Labor under the National Apprenticeship Act.1
Educational costs continue to rise. According to U.S. News & World Report, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2023-24 academic year is $10,662 for in-state residents at a public university and $42,162 for a student at a private university.2 In Oklahoma, the average numbers are lower, at $6,302 for a public college and $23,387 for a private university. Over four years, those costs could range from $25,208 to $93,548 before living expenses or required books and supplies.
"It has become easier to save for education costs using Oklahoma 529, which can give families peace of mind knowing they may be reducing future student loan debt, tax free,” Russ said. “The Plan’s tools like payroll deduction or the ability for account owners to contribute at birthdays or holidays develops a habit of saving early and often."
# # #
About Oklahoma 529
Oklahoma 529 is a tax-advantaged investment, meaning Oklahoma taxpayers can reduce their state taxable income by up to $20,000 if married filing jointly ($10,000 filing single), from contributions. In addition, earnings are tax-free if used for qualified education expenses like tuition and fees, books, laptops, and more. Funds can be used at any eligible public or private university, college, CareerTech, community college, or professional schools nationwide and many abroad.
To learn more about the Oklahoma 529, its investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses see the Plan Description at oklahoma529.com. Read it carefully. Investments in the Plan are neither insured nor guaranteed and there is the risk of investment loss. TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC, Member FINRA, distributor and underwriter for Oklahoma 529. Check with your home state to learn if it offers tax or other benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds or protection from creditors for investing in its own 529 plan. If the funds aren't used for qualified higher education expenses, a federal 10% penalty tax on earnings (as well as federal and state income taxes) may apply. Consult your legal or tax professional for tax advice.
- 1Withdrawals for tuition expenses at a public, private or religious elementary, middle, or high school, registered apprenticeship programs, and student loans can be withdrawn free from federal and Oklahoma income tax. If you are not an Oklahoma taxpayer, these withdrawals may include recapture of tax deduction, state income tax as well as penalties. You should talk to a qualified professional about how tax provisions affect your circumstances.↩
- 2Kerr, Emma, and Wood, Sarah (2023, Sept. 20). What You Need to Know About College Tuition Costs.↩