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Students from Wood River High School and their families gathered for scholarship night on Monday, April 18.

IDeal, Idaho’s 529 College Savings Program, released its 2021 annual report this month, showing growth in several categories compared to 2020, including total accounts, contributions to accounts from friends and family members, total amount of money saved with the program for future education expenses and account use for higher-education costs. The program provides a tax-advantaged savings program that helps Idaho families save for the cost of higher education.

The report explored the growth of the program throughout the state and in four regions (North, East, Southwest, and Central Idaho). The analysis of the 2021 calendar year found that more than 38,422 Idaho students have a person saving for their future education with the IDeal program. The total program assets increased by $97 million in 2021, and every region contributed to the increased savings trend.

“It’s remarkable to see the growth of the IDeal Program over the last 20 years and encouraging to know that more Idahoans are saving for the future costs of education every year,” said Christie Stoll, executive director of IDeal. “It’s exciting to see more families pitching in to help the students in their lives reach their education goals.”

In Central Idaho, which includes Blaine County, $3.6 million was used toward higher-education costs last year. Another finding about the region was that from 2020 to 2021 beneficiary accounts with the program grew by 7.7%, which is an increase of 210 accounts in the region. In addition, total savings in the program’s accounts grew by more than $6.8 million. Central Idaho added 105 new IDeal account owners with one or more beneficiaries. 

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