September is National College Savings Month in an effort to increase awareness among families of the importance of saving for higher education. The message is to encourage a disciplined savings plan in order to increase their children's likelihood of success and to avoid being to tied to student loans. Early planning can pay big dividends when college approaches.

In Arkansas the Arkansas College Savings Plans,  popularly knowns as 529 plans, are authorized under the Internal Revenue Service Code Section 529. These plans are designed to give families an opportunity to save for college with tax advantages. Parents, grandparents, friends, and others, can contribute to one of the two Arkansas 529 Plan accounts on behalf of the beneficiary.

Statistics show that a college degree can make a big difference in the wealth of families. Median family income in 2010 for families headed by a bachelor's degree holder or more was $99,000 more than double the median family income for families headed by the holder of just a high school diploma.