Mary Morris Elected as Chair of the College Savings Plans Network

Washington, DC, March 07, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Virginia529 CEO Mary Morris has been elected to serve as Chair of the College Savings Plans Network (CSPN), a leading objective source of information about 529 college savings plans and prepaid tuition plans. Also elected was Arizona Treasurer Kimberly Yee as Vice-Chair and 529 Manger of KY Higher Education Assistance Authority David Lawhorn serving as Treasurer. Rachel Biar, Nebraska Assistant State Treasurer,  will round out the executive leadership team as Past Chair.

CSPN’s elected board members for 2024 include Nevada Treasurer Zach Conine, Delaware State Treasurer Colleen Davis, Kansas State Treasurer Steven Johnson, Executive Director of 529 Specialist for JP Morgan Asset Management Kristia Adrian, Senior Director of Education Savings for TIAA Tuition Financing Kerry Alexander, CollegeInvest Executive Director Angela Baier, Executive Director of the Michigan Office of Postsecondary Financial Planning Robin Lott, Director of College Savings Plans for WA529 and GET Luke Minor, Executive Director of the Education Trust of Alaska Lael Oldmixon, and the Director of Bureau of Savings Programs for the Pennsylvania Treasury John Stevens.

2023 was a year of growth for 529 plans across the country. The amount of assets invested in 529 plans saw a 14% increase over 2022 with more than $470 billion saved in a plan. The average account size saw a similar increase of 11% over last year. The current average balance of a 529 account is $28,643 which would fund more than two years of education at a public in state institution, according to data found in the annual survey by U.S. News. The growth didn’t stop there – now more than 16.4 million 529 accounts have been opened nationwide. That is an all-time high after crossing 16 million for the first time in 2022.

“This is an exciting time in the 529 industry as we approach three decades of tax-advantaged education savings,” Morris said. “We’re navigating an era in which there are increasing opportunities to use a 529 account for a wider array of programs and educational opportunities, and we’re witnessing families embracing the transformative power of saving for their children’s futures. I am honored to serve as this year’s CSPN chair and to champion alongside my talented colleagues across the country the importance of education savings, empowering families to secure brighter tomorrows for generations to come.”

Mary G. Morris is the Chief Executive Officer of Virginia529, the largest tax-advantaged education savings program in the country with the direct Invest529 and advisor CollegeAmerica programs; Virginia529 launched tax-advantaged disability savings program ABLEnow in 2016 and ABLEAmerica in 2018 and state-facilitated private retirement program RetirePath VA in 2023. As Chair of CSPN, she serves on the Board of Directors of the National Association of State Treasurers.

The mission of the College Savings Plans Network is to empower its members to improve and expand the utilization of 529 plans by providing an inclusive environment to network, train, and offer leadership opportunities. CSPN strives to be the leading resource to advocate for and enhance 529 plans to become the primary saving mechanism for education, career and technical training, and skills development and continuing education. To learn more about how the board plans to achieve those goals, please review their 2021-2024 Strategic Plan found here.