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U.S. Senate approves student aid bill affecting 529 treatment

(July 20, 2007) - The United States Senate yesterday approved its version of H.R. 2669 that would result in substantial changes to federal student financial aid programs. The House version was passed on July 11. The differences between the two versions are scheduled to be resolved in a House-Senate conference before final Congressional approval.

After that, the bill goes to the President for signature. The White House has already indicated its intention to veto the House version of the bill.

H.R. 2669 eliminates the exclusion of student-owned 529 accounts in determining the expected family contribution (EFC) of a dependent student. Instead, such accounts would be treated as parent assets, regardless of account owner. The measure also clarifies that tax-free distributions from 529 plans and Coverdell ESAs would not be included as income in determining EFC.

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