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The College Solution: A Guide for Everyone Looking for the Right School at the Right Price by Lynn O’Shaughnessy

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Prepaid 529 Plan

The 529 savings plan monopolizes the press coverage, but there is another option that fewer states offer—the prepaid 529 plan. Some conservative parents and grandparents who are frightened of Wall Street’s occasional tantrums have gravitated to the prepaid plan because it poses no stock market risk.

Prepaid plans, which typically offer a better rate of return than a certificate of deposit, are supposed to grow in value at the same rate as in-state public college tuition. If you bought a year’s worth of tuition, for example, it would still be worth that much years later regardless of inflation.

What happens, however, if your child doesn’t attend a public school inside his or her state? Suppose a kid has been a Florida State University ...

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