Program helps La. families save for K-12 tuition

The Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance recently announced the launch of the START K12 Savings Plan, a tax-sheltered savings fund that can be used to pay for tuition costs related to kindergarten through 12th grade enrollment.

START K12 account owners will be eligible for federal tax benefits, including federal tax deferrals on deposit earnings, a limited federal tax deduction for tuition and related expense payments, and tax-free federal earnings when used toward Qualified Education Expenses.

State Treasurer John Schroder said in a news release the plan is designed to help Louisiana families “provide the best for their children” when it comes to education.

“For many (families), that means paying for private school,” Schroder said. “This can get very expensive, so every little bit helps.”

Like its college savings counterpart, START Saving, the START K12 Program treats deposits in a tax-favored manner under the provisions of Internal Revenue Code Section 529. Several changes on the federal level to the postsecondary program led to the creation of the separate K-12 program, said Carol Fulco, student financial aid director for the START division at LOSFA.

Remaining funds from a START K12 account can be rolled over into a START Saving account for post-secondary use. However, START Saving accounts can not be rolled back into a START K12 account.

The minimum deposit to open a START K12 account is $10, said Brittany Francis, LOSFA communications director. Withdrawals have a $10,000 annual cap and may be used only for K-12 tuition expenses.

For more information on eligibility or to open an account, visit, startsaving.la.gov or call 800-259-5626.

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