A 529 plan is a savings account that pays for a student's qualified education expenses while attending college. This includes not only tuition and room and board, but also computer equipment, books and mandatory school fees. However, a student can only use 529 funds at an eligible educational institution.
Foreign Schools May Receive 529 Funds
A student can use funds from her 529 plan to pay for studies at a foreign university if the school is an eligible educational institution. This is any vocational school, college, university or other post-secondary educational institution that participates in financial aid programs sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. Students can confirm a foreign school's eligibility by conducting a "Federal School Code Search" on the Department of Education's Federal Student Aid website. The search lists domestic and foreign schools that participate in the department's financial aid programs.
- U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission: An Introduction to 529 Plans
- College Savings Plans Network: Common 529 Questions
- IRS: 529 Plans - Questions and Answers
- CNN Money: Can a 529 Plan be Used for International Schools?
- IRS. "What Is an Eligible Educational Institution?" Accessed Oct. 4, 2020.
- U.S. Department of Education. "Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs." Accessed Oct. 4, 2020.
- IRS. "Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education." Accessed Oct. 4, 2020.
- IRS. "Am I Eligible to Claim an Education Credit?" Accessed Oct. 4, 2020.
Based on the West Coast, Mary Jane Freeman has been writing professionally since 1994, specializing in the topics of business and law. Freeman's work has appeared in a variety of publications, including LegalZoom, Essence, Reuters and Chicago Sun-Times. Freeman holds a Master of Science in public policy and management and Juris Doctor. Freeman is self-employed and works as a policy analyst and legal consultant.