529 Plans and Off-Campus Housing

Is your student planning to live off-campus this fall? If so, you can still use funds in your 529 plan to pay for room and board, but you may not be able to cover 100% of the cost from your plan. Be sure to ask your school’s financial aid office what the off-campus room and board allowance is because that’s the maximum “qualified” expense, regardless of what you’re actually paying for room and board. Be careful not to budget– with withdraw from your plan– based on on-campus housing costs because the numbers could be considerably different. For example, standard on-campus housing and a meal plan at the University of Oregon costs $11,430 for the 2015-2016 school year, but the off-campus qualified amount is $9,930.

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