Better investment returns help Maryland's college plans

Maryland's two college savings plans benefited from stronger investment returns in the past year, according to an annual report released Friday.

The Maryland Prepaid College Trust, which allows families to pay for tuition in advance, posted a $2.5 million actuarial surplus at the end of June, compared with a $52.4 million deficit the year before. The plan's soundness depends largely on investment returns and tuition inflation. The return for the year ended in June was 14 percent, nearly double what had been projected. Tuition increases, averaging 3 percent, were less than half than projected. More than $500 million is invested in the plan for nearly 28,000 beneficiaries.

The Maryland College Investment Plan, managed by T. Rowe Price Associates, had about $1.85 billion invested at the end of June. The average account size was $12,637, or 17 percent higher than a year ago.

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