ATLANTA -- With college tuition costs going up and up, parents and grandparents are now investing more money than ever in plans to help send their children and grandchildren to college.
In Georgia, more than 100,000 people have already invested more than $1 billion. They are socking the cash into "Path2college 529" plans, with the College Savings Plan Network saying today that investment in the plans is up a record 15%.
"We've got about $40,000 in the plan right now and we are already using some of it for my older son. He is a sophomore at Southern Polytech," said Dana Russell, who is continuing in the Plan to insure tuition monies for his youngest son, still 2 years away from heading to college.
RESOURCE GUIDE | Guide to college savings plans
And the 529 plan has flexibility.
"They can pick their own investment options. The money can be used at practically any school in the country as long as it is eligible for Title 4 student aid and they can start as early as birth and go all the way on through college," said Tracey Ireland, Interim President of the Georgia Student Finance Commission.
In Georgia, the first $2,000 invested in the 529 plan is tax deductible with all the distributions tax exempt.
For students the 529-cash can mean the difference of going or not going to college.
Tuition alone without adding room and board at the University of Georgia is now up to $9,800, while at Georgia Tech its $7,200.
At Georgia State, tuition runs $7,500, while at Kennesaw State its $6,400. Out of state students pay double and sometimes triple.