Family & friends
Give that special child in your life a chance for a brighter future by helping him or her save for college.
When you save with the Direct Plan, you can:
Open an account for any beneficiary
You don't have to be related to the student (beneficiary) or live in the same state as he or she does. You can open an account on behalf of any special child in your life, even if someone else has already opened an account for that child.
Take advantage of tax breaks
If you're a New York taxpayer, and a Direct Plan account owner, you can deduct up to $5,000 ($10,000 if you're married filing jointly) of your account contributions when you file your state income taxes.* (If the child's parents invest your college savings gift in an existing 529 account, you won't be able to take this deduction.)
Keep control of the account
As the account owner, you control the account, not the child or his or her parents. So you decide where and when the money can be used.
Get your money back if your beneficiary doesn't go to college
If the original beneficiary doesn't go to college, you can transfer the account to the child's sibling or another eligible family member, without paying a penalty. You can even make yourself the beneficiary if you're one of those eligible family members.
Also, you always have the option to withdraw the money from the account for other uses, although you'll pay a 10% federal penalty, as well as state and local income taxes.**