Few parents actually plan to use 529s to pay for private school

Some parents might not believe it’s worth it, he added.

For example, when parents save for their child’s college expenses in a 529 plan, they could, in theory, have an almost two-decade-long investment timeline. “Whereas when you’re saving for K-12, and you start having to use your plan when your child enters first grade, that money has only been invested for five years,” he said.

And there’s still uncertainty around how states will treat 529 plans used for K-12 savings, Kantrowitz said.

“The tax implications on a state level haven’t been fully settled,” he said. “Until that gets resolved by states passing amendments saying it’s a qualified expense, the families are going to be hesitant.”

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