Seeing a child work toward a college degree is a parent's dream. With the rapidly escalating costs of a college education, this dream can seem out of reach. A Coverdell Education Savings Account (ESA) can help your children reach their dreams. Unlike state 529 plans, Coverdell ESAs can be used to pay for qualified elementary and secondary education expenses as well as higher education. Your earnings grow tax-free if distributions are used for qualified education expenses.