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IDeal accounts in region nearly $700,000

College savings more than double state rate

IDeal college savings within the region

Clearwater County

2015 Growth: 19 percent

2016 Growth: 14 percent

Lewis County

2015 Growth: 8 percent

2016 Growth: 0 percent

Adams County

2015 Growth: 8 percent

2016 Growth: 24 percent

Valley County

2015 Growth: 3 percent

2016 Growth: 7 percent

Lemhi County

2015 Growth: 17 percent

2016 Growth: 16 percent

Idahoans are opening more IDeal college savings accounts, and Idaho County leads state growth by more than double.

IDeal, Idaho’s state-sponsored 529 college savings program, created 15 years ago, currently has 37,500 participants. Account contributions must be made by Dec. 31, 2016, in order to be deductible from 2016 Idaho state income tax.

Last year, the total number of IDeal account holders rose statewide by approximately 8 percent, far surpassing the 3.6 percent growth in number of 529 account holders nationally, according to IDeal Executive Director Christine Stoll. In Idaho County, IDeal account ownership grew by 17 percent – 77 accounts to 90 — in 2015, surpassing statewide trends, and Stoll notes that she hopes to see similar growth for the county by the end of 2016.

“In 2016, so far, the number of accounts has further grown to 103, representing a 14 percent increase,” Stoll said. “The year isn’t over of course, and we’d like to see that number grow before Dec. 31.”

The total sum of assets held in IDeal accounts by Idaho County residents is nearly $700,000.  

The reason for the statewide spike in giving Stoll attributes to IDeal instituting a new social sharing option for account holders. This allows them to share their account via social media or e-mail so a friend or family member, with a couple of clicks, can deposit money into the child’s account.

IDeal account growth within Idaho County has jumped, she said, due to their efforts “to build relationships with employers in the area; specifically, we held an informational event for employees of Syringa Hospital and Clinics.”

Information on IDeal is available online at Employers interested in having IDeal hold an informational event at their workplace: contact Nick Thiros at


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