More than $15 billion in child tax credit payments have been distributed nationwide.By Royce Jones

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — This month, eligible parents across the United States have started receiving up to $300 for each child in monthly payments through the American Rescue Plan.

According to the IRS, more than $15 billion in child tax credit payments have been distributed nationwide in this first wave.

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Here in Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Treasury Department is encouraging recipients who are financially able to consider investing some or all of that funding into the PA 529 College and Career Savings Program.

The program offers two account types: an investment plan where returns are based on the financial market or a savings plan that mirrors the rising cost of tuition.

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“The earnings remain tax-free when the withdrawals are used for qualified educational expenses,” said Samantha Galvez, press secretary for the Pennsylvania Treasury. “Contributions are also Pa. state income tax-deductible, and account assists do not affect state financial aid eligibility.”

The money can be withdrawn from the account at any time for most college expenses, including tuition and books. However, you could be penalized for spending that money for non-educational purposes.

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For more information about applying, click here.