Are Dorm Room Supplies Covered By 529?

by Doris Vanhouten

Going to the dorm can be pretty fun. You will get to experience a lot of new adventures. If you are moving to the dorm for the first time, there is a pretty good chance you will spend a relatively large amount of money on supplies for your dorm needs. There are a lot of things you will need in your dorms such as blankets, clothes, appliances and a lot more.

If you are going to be needing these things, you might be looking for a budget or plan that covers these expenses conveniently. One plan a lot of people tend to have on their mind when it comes to dorm supplies is the 529 plan. 

Are Dorm Rooms Supplies Covered By 529?

There is one question a lot of people tend to ask when it comes to the 529 savings plan. A lot of people tend to ask if the 529 plan covers other things such as dorm supplies and a lot more.

“Does the 529 saving plan cover all these supplies?” You might ask.

The answer is relatively simple. While we all know that the 529 saving plans cover room and board expenses, it doesn’t cover the supplies for your dorm room. If you are moving to your dorm room and you are looking to acquire things like the blankets and a host of other things not covered by your college, you will have to acquire them outside the 529 savings plan.

On the other hand, if the supplies are provided by the school and they are included in the cost of acquiring a dorm room, your 529 plan will cover it. 

Your 529 plan covering your room supplies largely depends on your school. If your school includes your dorm supplies as part of the running cost of your dorm, then 529 got you covered. However, if the room supplies are not included in the cost of getting a room, you have to sort out the bills outside the 529 plan.

What is the 529 Plan?

The 529 plan is a relatively good incentive or plan brought about by the federal government. This plan is a smart saving plan designed to promote savings for future educational costs. If you have kids or you are looking to have kids, this might be a pretty smart plan for you. This is because you will be able to save conveniently without having to worry about taxes.

Unlike other saving plans with high tax rates, this plan is very tax advantageous. The tax deducted on it is highly minimal.  When it is time to withdraw, you can only spend the money for qualified educational expenses. That is, you can only spend the money on things like books, tuition fees and other qualified educational expenses.  You cannot spend the money on a car, a date or chilling out with your friends. 

What Are the Expenses  529 Plan Covers?

The 529 plan covers some education-related expenses for most students who use it. These expenses go a long way in helping to reduce the stress you might have on your pocket. 

“What are the education-related things the 529 plan covers?” You might ask.

Below is a list of the education things the 529 plan covers.

– Room and Board

If we are talking about room and board under the 529 saving plans, we are referring to the cost of acquiring a dorm or a room off-campus and the feeding expenses. These expenses are covered by the 529 plan.

The 529 plan only covers your feeding plan if they are included in the running expenses by the school you attend. If you get a meal outside the school premises, it will not be covered in your 529 plan. Also, if you decide to rent a hotel for social or random purposes, as long as it doesn’t run through your school, it will not be covered in 529

– Tuition Fee

This is another thing the 529 plan covers. The 529 plan covers your tuition fee in an accredited university or college in the state. This is the major reason why the saving plan was created in the first place. It was created to make high tuition fees relatively affordable.

You should know that this plan doesn’t cover the tuition fee of any university, college or school that isn’t accredited. If the school you attend doesn’t have government approval, you will not be able to use the 529 plan to cover the tuition.

– Fees

This is another thing that can be covered by your 529 plan. If there are any running fees such as the administrative fee, sports fees, technology fees and other fees included in the school curriculum, they will be covered by the 529 plan.

However, this plan doesn’t cover every kind of fee. There are some miscellaneous fees it doesn’t cover such as class contribution, fees for a social programme and a lot more. In simplified terms, it doesn’t cover fees that are not included in the school’s running expenses.

– Books and Supplies

Books and supplies are things every student will need as they are as essential as lectures themselves in every institution. You will need these books to write or jot down important things. All these things are covered in the 529 plan.

Do not make the mistake of assuming any kind of books or supplies will be covered in this plan. It doesn’t work that way. This plan only covers books that are included in the school curriculum as being essential for a subject. It also covers supplies that the school considers important. 

– Technology

Just as books and other supplies are considered important for your schooling possess, technology is also on the same pedestal. Without technology, school becomes very difficult, if not impossible. This is because the entire education process evolves around technology.

If we are talking bout the 529 plan covering technology in school, we are not talking about you getting yourself an iPhone 12 or 13 for your studies, we are talking about the computers and software that the school deem essential. We are also talking about things like printers, internet service and other web programmes that help to improve your learning curve. 

All these expenses will be covered by the 529 plan as long as they are made when you are in college. They also have to be strictly for educational purposes.

What are The Expenses You cannot use 529 for?

If there is one thing that tends to confuse a lot of people, it is the distinction between the expenses that can be covered by the 529 plan and the ones that don’t count under this plan.

i. Dorm Room Furniture and Decoration

This is the mistake many people tend to make when they are moving to college. A lot of students often believe that their dorm room furniture and decoration can be covered by their 529 plans.  Unfortunately, this is not the case.

I know to furnish and decorating your dorm room actually sounds nice, however, it is not allowed or even considered important in most schools you will find in the state. The dorm rooms provided by your school authorities are pretty standard, so, why would you be looking to add more beauty or furniture to the room?

ii. Sports and Club-related Activities

When you get to college or university, you will be required to pay a lot of fees for different purposes. Aside from the fees, you will also be required to join different clubs and fraternities. These clubs have their contribution which members will have to pay.

Well, you might be wondering if your 529 plans cover these fees or contributions you will be required to pay. The answer is simply no. club related activities or contributions are not usually added to the school’s running expenses. Since they are not added, the 529 plan doesn’t cover it.

iii. Transportation

This is another thing many people tend to be quite inquisitive about. Is transportation going to be covered in the 529 plan? if you are the type that takes your car to school, you will be required to handle the cost of fueling your car yourself.

Also, even if you are using the car for school or academic purposes such as going for research, a school excursion and others,  you still do not have permission to include it in your 529 plan. Transportation and other transport expenses do not count in the 529 savings plan.

iv. College Application and Testing

One thing about getting into college is the fact that you would have likely written different college applications and tests. There is a pretty good chance you would have gone to different schools to take a test when trying to gain admission to your college.

Your 529 plan doesn’t cover the cost of your college application. Any amount of money you spend on the application is strictly going to be from your pocket. You do not have the access to remove the amount spent on the tests from the 529 plan.

There are also a couple of other things your 529 plan doesn’t cover. These things include insurance, exhibitions, trade fairs and a host of other things.

Can I Use 529 for Private Tutoring?

This is one question many people and students tend to have when they intend to get a private tutor for themselves or their ward. The question of 529 covering for their private tutor comes up every time. 

There are some classes you or your ward might not be particularly good at. When this happens, having a private tutor might be a very great idea as they will help to coach your ward. They would also ensure your ward catches up with their peers in the subject or field.

Now, when you are getting a private tutor, you do not have to worry about your finances. If you have a 529 plan for yourself or your ward, you can easily pay for the private tutorials from the plan. The plan covers everything educational and private tutorials are among the expenses under 529. 

However, you will have to get a private tutorial from registered private tutors. There will be receipts which will serve as proof when needed.

Can I Use 529 for Pre-College Programmes?

Pre-college programs are a pretty common thing in the united states. There is a pretty good chance you will see kids who are into such programmes in one out of every 5 households. These programmes help to keep the students academically sound.

Pre-college programmes are not free. You will have to pay for it. The amount you pay largely depends on two factors which are the course you intend to study and the location of the programme.

The 529 plan covers the pre-college programme you will like your ward to take. Just make sure you specify the place where the programme was taken. Also, ensure you specify the subjects taken in the program.

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Conclusion

The 529 plan is a lifesaver. It has helped a lot of students through college and university. There are some expenses this plan covers which will make school life a whole lot easier for you. Also, there are some expenses 529 doesn’t cover.

For these expenses, you will have to find out another way to sort out the cost. All these expenses and a lot more have been discussed in this article. Simply read through the article to get more information about the 529 plans and the expenses they cover for your dorm and school.

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