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Investing in your child’s future: More options for financing a Catholic education

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Editor’s note: In this second of two articles, we look at additional options to finance your child’s Catholic education.

Regardless of your family’s financial situation, more options than ever are available for tuition assistance.

One example is a 529 tax-advantage tuition plan, a special investment account designed to encourage savings for K-12 tuition and college. The primary benefit of the plan is that any earnings from growth over time are not federally taxed if they are used to pay for qualified educational expenses. Investors retain ownership of the funds until distribution. Up to $10,000 a year may be withdrawn for tuition.

In the state of Ohio, participants may quality for up to a $4,000 taxable income deduction. The account can be transferred to a different beneficiary at any time if that person is an eligible family member of the original beneficiary. Most plans allow contributions for a beneficiary of any age.

The state of Ohio EdChoice program provides students from under performing public schools a voucher to attend participating Catholic or private schools. The voucher covers up to $4,650 for elementary students and $6,000 for high school students. There are deadlines for assistance, with the first application period beginning Feb. 1 and ending April 30. The second application period, for the traditional (non-income based) EdChoice scholarship only, begins July 1 and ends July 31. Families must contact the participating private school and complete the school’s enrollment process. All parents who applied for EdChoice will be notified of their child’s scholarship status by mail during July and August by the Ohio Department of Education.

EdChoice expansion vouchers are open to incoming K-fourth grade students whose family income is 200 percent below the poverty level. Vouchers are the same amount as traditional EdChoice. Schools that accept the vouchers will provide the needed application forms. For a full listing of Catholic schools in the archdiocese that accept EdChoice vouchers, visit
www. catholicbestchoice.org/aid.

Many archdiocesan Catholic schools also offer scholarships, grants or tuition discounts. Each school determines eligibility for tuition assistance according to its own policies, resources and timelines.

Students participate in the 2018 Catholic Schools Week Mass (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)

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