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K12 Frequently Asked Questions

The START K12 Saving Program was created to implement the provisions of Internal Revenue Code Section 520 that allows families to save for tuition expenses related to attendance any school providing kindergarten through twelfth grade instruction. Families are permitted to use funds from a START K12 account in Louisiana schools only. Parents, grandparents, and others who want to assist in funding a childs education are encouraged to establish an education savings account through the START K12 Saving Program for each child who will be attending kindergarten through 12th grade (the account beneficiary) and to make regular deposits to those accounts. Account owners may select one or more investment funds ranging from very conservative to very aggressive. Upon the beneficiarys enrollment in an approved Louisiana school, funds can be disbursed to cover their Tuition Expenses only.

The program is administered by the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance, under the direction of the Louisiana Tuition Trust Authority, or LATTA. The LATTA is a public body composed of representatives from all of the state's education governing boards, and includes the State Treasurer and one member from each house of the Louisiana Legislature.

No. A savings account for education, is commonly called an Education Savings Account (ESA), may be opened on behalf of a named Beneficiary by anyone, including legal entities, provided that the Account Owner OR the Beneficiary is a resident of Louisiana. Account Owners may save at their own pace, in amounts they can afford, and still have their money professionally managed.

There are five categories:

Category I: Parents, grandparents, court-ordered custodians, persons claiming the Beneficiary as a dependent on their federal income tax return, if, at the time the Account Application is submitted, the Account Owner or Beneficiary is a resident of the state.

Category II: A person or persons determined by the administering agency to be a Member of the Family of the Beneficiary and, at the time the Account Application is submitted, the Account Owner or Beneficiary is a resident of the state. Members of the family include adults related to the Beneficiary as brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, spouses, in-laws, step-parents and step-siblings.

Category III: Any other person and, at the time the Account Application is submitted, the beneficiary is a resident of this state.

Category IV: Any other person who, at the time the Account Application is submitted, is a resident of the state and the Beneficiary is not a resident of the state.

Category V: Any other person or Legal Entity or any government entity, and at the time of the submission of the Account Application:

  • (i) The Beneficiary is a resident of the state.
  • (ii) The federal adjusted income of the Beneficiarys family is less than $30,000 or the Beneficiary is eligible for a free lunch under the Richard B. Russell National School Act (42 U.S.C. 1751 et seq.).
  • (iii) The Beneficiary is not a member of the Account Owners family or a member of the family of any member or employee of LATTA or LOSFA.

Yes, account owners may deposit and claim up to $2,400 for a joint filer and $1,200 for a single filer as a deduction to income on their Louisiana State Income Tax Return. All earnings on the account are tax deferred and if used for tuition expenses at an approved Louisiana school, the earnings are not taxable.

A START K12 Account may be opened by an individual, a Legal Entity, or a custodian who meets the following requirements:

  • Both the Account Owner and the Beneficiary are U.S. Citizens, are permanent residents of the United States, or are lawfully residing in the United States and have a valid social security number.
  • Either the Account Owner or the Beneficiary must be a Louisiana Resident. Individual Account Owners must be at least eighteen (18) years old at the time the START K12 account is opened.
  • An authorized representative of a Legal Entity must open a START K12 Account in the name of the Legal Entity.
  • Custodians for minors under the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) and custodians of minors appointed by courts of competent jurisdiction may open START K12 Accounts in the name of the minor.
  • Signing the Account Application is your agreement to the terms and conditions of the Participation Agreement (individual, Legal Entity or custodian) that is applicable to your status.

No. One individual or entity must own each account. You and your spouse may each establish separate accounts for the same beneficiary or for different beneficiaries. You may name your spouse as your successor account owner in the event of your death.

The beneficiary is the person designated by the Account Owner in the START K12 Account Application (or the person named by LATTA when authorized to make such a designation by the owner of a START K12 Account that is classified under LSA-R.S. 17:3100.6.A(1)(e)), as the individual entitled to apply the START K12 Account balance, or portions thereof, toward payment of his/her Qualified Education Expenses.

Multiple accounts may be opened by different account owners for the same beneficiary. However, the total amount deposited in all accounts may not exceed the "Maximum Allowable Account Balance." of $180,000.

If you die, ownership of your account will be transferred to the person you name as successor account owner. If your primary successor owner dies before you do, your account will be transferred to your contingent successor owner. If you do not have a named successor owner who is alive on the date of your death, your account will become part of your estate and will be distributed as designated in your will or, if you do not have a will, as required by law.

Yes. This is one way to ensure that deposits you have made for your beneficiarys education are available to the beneficiary if you die. If your beneficiary is a minor when you die, the beneficiarys parents or custodian will be responsible for the account management until the beneficiary reaches 18 years of age.

You are required to name at least your primary successor owner. This will ensure that the funds in the account are used to pay the beneficiarys education expenses. We recommend that one successor owner be at least one generation younger. The contingent successor could be the beneficiary or one of the parents of the beneficiary or someone else you trust to manage the account.

Having two successor owners reduces the risk to the account. For instance, if the account owner names his/her spouse as the primary successor owner and both die in a motor vehicle accident, the account would be transferred to the contingent successor owner. Otherwise, the account would be transferred to the estate of the deceased account owner and possibly none of the money in the account could be used by the beneficiary. Also, if the funds are withdrawn from the account and not used for qualified education expenses, the interest thereon would be lost and there would be tax penalties.

Another possibility is that the primary successor becomes mentally incapable of handling the account. If this were to happen, the contingent successor could manage the account.

Yes. The account owner can change the beneficiary at any time. However, the new beneficiary must be a member of the current beneficiarys family.

The new beneficiary must be a "Member of the Family" of the current beneficiary in order to prevent a non-qualified disbursement. A "Member of Family" must be related to the current beneficiary as one of the following:

  • Father or mother, or an ancestor of either.
  • Stepfather or stepmother, but not their ancestors.
  • Brother or sister of the father or mother, but not of a step-parent.
  • Brother, sister, stepbrother or stepsister.
  • Son or daughter, or descendant of either father-in-law or mother-in-law.
  • Stepson or stepdaughter.
  • Son or daughter of a brother or sister, but not of a step-sibling.
  • Spouse of the designated beneficiary or any of the above individuals.
  • Brother-in-law, sister-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law.
  • First Cousin.

Both the account owner and beneficiary must be citizens of the United States and/or permanent residents of the United States as defined by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Either the account owner or the beneficiary must be a Louisiana resident at the time the account is opened. An initial deposit of $10.00 or more must be made within 180 days after receipt of notification the account has been approved. New account owners using the paper application should send their first deposit with their application.

To open an account, simply complete the application online at or complete the paper Application and submit it to:

START K12 Saving Program
P.O. Box 91000
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70821-9000

Upon acceptance of your application, make saving a habit by making regular monthly deposits.

You may elect to mail your deposits directly to the program administrator by mailing them to:

Louisiana START K12 Saving Program
P.O. Box 91000
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70821-9000

However, we encourage you to use one of the more convenient options available to you:

  • Electronic Funds Transfer (or automated clearing house (ACH)) transaction from your personal savings or checking account.
  • On-line Contribution using echeck or credit card.
  • Employer deductions from your paycheck.

You can view your account balance and transactions at any time by accessing your account at In addition, you will receive an annual statement, listing all transactions for your account for the previous year. Your statement will show your progress in saving the amount that will be needed to pay your beneficiarys educational tuition expenses.

You must first create a logon profile at To create a logon profile, you must have an active START K12 Account, your date of birth must be in your START K12 account records, and you must know your account number. Follow these steps:

  • Create your own User ID and Password by clicking on "Enroll Now." Use letters or numbers, not to exceed 10 characters, for your User ID and Password.

If you forget your password, enter your User ID and click on "Forgot Your Password." If you have provided an e-mail address in your profile you will be asked whether you want us to mail your password or to e-mail it to you. If you have NOT provided an e-mail address in your profile, we will mail your password to you at the address you have provided for your account.

If you would like to change your Password, go to and log in to your account. Select the "My Profile" tab located on the top panel of the page. Click the Change Password button to change your password. Use letters or numbers to change your Password. This new logon profile will supersede the old profile.

You can either send an e-mail to or call 1-800-259-5626. START Saving Program representatives will be happy to answer any questions you might have and send you additional information or an application.

The minimum amount to open a START K12 account is $10.

The minimum deposit to a START K12 account is $10. The maximum is $180,000. All deposits must be in whole dollars.

Yes, this would be accomplished by submitting a Rollover/Transfer Deposit form to START K12 via mail, email or fax.

YES! Please mail to:

START Saving Program
P.O. Box 91000
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70821-9000

START K12 account owners currently have the opportunity to change the investment funds for their existing deposits twice per calendar year. When changing investment funds, all deposits (existing and future) must be included in the new fund(s).

You can select different investment funds for new deposits each time you make a deposit. Your selected investment fund(s) for new deposits will remain the same until you select different investment funds.

Although authorized to assess certain fees, LATTA has not approved the imposition of fees. All costs of LATTA or LOSFA or the Louisiana State Treasurer in administering the START K12 Program have been assumed by the State of Louisiana and paid from funds appropriated for that purpose. No fees or administrative costs are currently charged to an Account Owner and none are anticipated.

The START K12 Program is charged an investment management fee on the moneys it invests in mutual funds managed by The Vanguard Group. Currently, this fee, known as the underlying fund expense ratio, varies with each mutual fund. Currently, the maximum fee is 0.11% (or $1.10 per $1,000 invested) per year. This fee is subject to change at any time without notice. These fees are deducted prior to the valuation of the funds net asset value, thereby reducing the value of the START K12 Programs investments, which reduces the return to Account Owners.

Deposited funds must exhaust the three business day float period before they become available for disbursement.

The account owner maintains control over all of the money invested in a START K12 Account unless the account owner dies, in which case the successor owner will take over the account. The beneficiary does not have any control over the account while the account owner is alive, unless the beneficiary is the account owner or if the account owner dies and the beneficiary is the successor account owner.

You may withdraw funds by submitting a "Request for Disbursement" form or by accessing your account online at The request for disbursement should be made at least thirty (30) days prior to the date the funds are due.

To make a disbursement online, the account owner must logon to his account and click on the "Withdrawal Request" button on the Investments bar. Once the process has completed, print a copy of the form for your records.

No, START K12 funds are only disbursed to the account owner.

These funds may be used to pay Qualified Education Expenses, which are limited to tuition.

The Account Owner must designate the amount to be disbursed, not to exceed the Qualified Education Expenses for the Eligible Educational Institution attended by the Beneficiary, the Current Value of the START K12 Account, or $10,000, whichever is less.

The account owner is required to pay any taxes assessed as a result on a non-qualified disbursement.

The total value of a START K12 Account cannot exceed the Maximum Allowable Account Balance, which is $180,000.00. The sum total of funds in all START K12 Accounts for the same Beneficiary may not exceed the Maximum Allowable Account Balance for that Beneficiary.

The beneficiary can use START funds at any eligible educational institution. For START K12 Saving Program purposes, an "eligible educational institution" is:

  • A public or approved nonpublic elementary or secondary school in Louisiana that contains any of the grades kindergarten through twelve.

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