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(The Network Journal) – As many Americans scrounge for holiday deals, they might consider plunking those dollars saved into a college-savings fund for their children or grandchildren. But what’s the best place to park money that needs to grow at a rate to keep up with rapidly rising tuition costs?  It might be a 529 plan, where tax-free earnings can give you an edge. But the plans aren’t all created equal.  A 529 college-savings plan allows you to invest money for a family member that you later withdraw income-tax-free to pay for the relative’s education costs at almost any accredited college, community college or vocational school. It’s funded with after-tax money but grows tax-free to cover qualified items including tuition, room and board and textbooks.

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