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Flywire Partners with Ascensus to Digitize 529 College Savings Plan Payments

Flywire Partners with Ascensus to Digitize 529 College Savings Plan Payments

Partnership streamlines and digitizes tuition payments from 529 college savings plans in the US

Flywire Corporation, a global payments enablement and software company, and Ascensus, ​​whose technology and expertise help millions of people save for education, retirement, and healthcare, announced a partnership to digitize and streamline tuition payments from 529 college savings plans to higher education institutions throughout the United States.

Through the partnership, families saving in a 529 plan on the Ascensus platform can leverage Flywire to disburse funds to pay tuition-related expenses directly to the school from their 529 account. In addition to providing a seamless experience for payers, Flywire also makes it simple and easy for any school in the U.S. to benefit from the ease of reconciliation and other operational efficiencies of the 529 disbursement solution.

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As the cost of education continues to rise, 529 college saving plans – which are tax-advantaged investment accounts geared toward education expenses – are becoming a popular vehicle for families to use for tuition payments. New data from Morningstar notes that total assets in 529 plans climbed 18% in 2020, reaching a record high of $394 billion.

This Ascensus-Flywire solution takes aim at the complexity of 529 payments to schools via checks, which can be difficult for institutions to process and reconcile. The check withdrawal process relies on mailing, cashiering, and depositing of paper checks for every withdrawal. The manual nature of these processes can cause delays for students attempting to register for classes, and can create administrative backlogs and inefficiencies for institutions.

The partnership between Flywire and Ascensus eliminates these legacy inefficiencies and provides a completely digital path to payment and reconciliation for 529 plan withdrawals. The Ascensus-Flywire solution digitizes and streamlines these flows and posts them directly into the universities’ student database. Both the families and institutions have prompt visibility into the receipt of payment. It will offer a more streamlined process for 529 ACH withdrawals as well, eliminating a multi-step process of moving funds between accounts in preparation for tuition payment.

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“As 529 plans continue to rise in popularity, our clients have been asking us for a solution that would take away so many of the current pain points related to the disbursement of payments,” said Sharon Butler, EVP of Education, Flywire. “We couldn’t ask for a better partner than Ascensus, who manages 529 programs for 25 states and the District of Columbia, and we’re thrilled to partner with them to roll out an innovative solution that will help both families and institutions.”

“At Ascensus, we build solutions to make it easy to manage a 529 plan throughout the lifecycle of an account,” noted Peg Creonte, President of Ascensus Government Savings. “Our partnership with Flywire, a leading payments provider for schools around the world, demonstrates our continued commitment to offering leading edge technology solutions for our clients.”

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