Utah's college savings plan hits $6 billion

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The Utah Educational Savings Plan announced this week it has hit $6 billion, making it one of the top 10 largest plans in the country.

Utah's official 529 plan now has more than 226,000 accounts opened by families saving for college, according to a statement from the program.

The plan allows people to save for college in mutual funds managed by Vanguard and Dimensional Fund Advisors, as well as the Utah Public Treasurer's Investment fund or a savings account. The earnings are tax-free when used for college expenses such as tuition and books.

Started in 1996, Utah's 529 plan has been ranked among the country's top 529 plans by Morningstar, Inc. and Money magazine, among others, for its low fees and investment choices. It's the sixth largest of all direct-sold 529 plans in the country and the eighth largest overall, according to the College Savings Plan Network.

Lindsay Whitehurst