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On Campus: Tax-deductible gifts for college funds can be made through April
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On Campus: Tax-deductible gifts for college funds can be made through April

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Forgot” to drop a few thousand dollars into junior’s college fund before the lights went out on 2014, did you?

Fear not, slacker.

Wisconsin’s college savings plan, EdVest, now allows contributions to count for 2014’s taxes as long as they’re made by April 15, the deadline to file tax returns. The change is new for this year after winning approval from state lawmakers in April.

EdVest’s director, James DiUlio, said Edvest lobbied for the change so families could more easily align 529 college-fund contributions with other investments, which typically follow the tax-year deadline instead of the calendar year. “We also wanted to get away from a time of year that is cluttered with holiday messaging and is often very difficult for families to meet deadlines when they have so many demands on their time and money,” DiUlio said in an email.

A 529 allows college savings to grow free of state and federal taxes. Some state plans, including Wisconsin’s, also grant a limited tax deduction for contributions by relatives.

There is no residency requirement to take part in Wisconsin’s plan, which allows up to $3,050 of tax-deductible contributions annually per beneficiary. The contribution limit rose slightly from $3,000 last year.

Also new this year: Any state resident who donates to a youngster’s Wisconsin college fund can get the state tax deduction. In previous years, it was available only to relatives.

The money that grows in the fund can be used for college and other education-related expenses. Students at University of Wisconsin System schools now graduate with an average of $28,000 in debt. That number likely will only grow and multiply for coming generations.

More information is available at edvest.com.

New business school dean at UW-Whitewater

Associate dean John Chenoweth got the top job as dean of the college of business and economics at UW-Whitewater.

“He has been a strong leader in that college for a number of years, and I trust that his vision for the future will continue the tradition of excellence that has made (the college) one of the best business schools in the world,” said provost Beverly Kopper in a statement.

Chenoweth currently is responsible for five master’s degree programs and one doctorate program enrolling more than 700 students. He will assume his new role Jan. 19.

The college in March was reaccredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Just 5 percent of business schools worldwide have obtained the highest standard of accreditation, the college said in a statement.

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