Sponsored post written by me for ScholarShare 529.
With the rising costs of college and higher education, my husband and I are always looking for ways to save for college for our kids. It is coming up quickly because in less than ten years, our oldest will be faced with hefty tuition that will require not only our help but financial aid. His brother will follow shortly after. We really don’t know how we are going to pay for it all, but we don’t want cost to be a factor if they want to go to college to pursue their dream careers. We have already signed up for 529 tax-free savings accounts which we auto-transfer $50 a month into their accounts. It does better than a regular savings account and last year it did really well, but we still have a long way to go. I know when the time comes, we might have to take out student loans and apply for financial aid. That’s how I went to college. I have five siblings and my parents didn’t have money to send us all, but most of us applied for government assistance and took out student loans. It is going to take a while for me to pay off my loans, but the interest rate is super low and I never regretted going. I’m considering going back for my Masters. I think it would have helped if my parents started a 529 for us, but back then it didn’t exist and you need to start young to benefit from it.
New Matching Grant Program!
Last month some of us attended a ScholarShare 529 press conference with California State Treasurer, John Chiang, and TV personality, Liz Hernandez, to learn more about their new Matching Grant Program which started January 1, 2018 (it’s this month!) As the official college savings plan of California, ScholarShare 529’s new college savings program will offer a dollar-for-dollar match contribution of up to $200 on new accounts helping low- and moderate-income California families jump start their savings for college. Plus families that establish a monthly automatic contribution plan of $25 or more are eligible for a $25 bonus.
- Parents/guardians must be California residents at enrollment,
- have a valid social security number or a federal tax ID number, and
- have an adjusted gross annual income of $75,000 or less.
Research shows that children with savings accounts, however small, are seven times more likely to attend and graduate college. To give California families an opportunity to pursue higher education and a bright future, ScholarShare529 will encourage families to open 529 accounts as part of the new Matching Grant Program. The program offers flexibility as the funds can be used at any accredited higher-education program, including community colleges and trade schools, as well as other approved educational expenses. And, the savings in a ScholarShare 529 account will not impact eligibility for most state benefits, such as CalWORKS and CalFresh. ScholarShare 529 is working closely with community based organizations (CBOs) across the state, including California Asset Building Coalition, Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap Initiative, Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs, United Ways of California and EARN, to ensure that eligible families receive the news about the Matching Grant Program and take advantage of this new incentive to save for college. For additional information about eligibility, please visit www.mgp.scholarshare529.com.
About ScholarShare 529
Established in 1999, ScholarShare 529 helps California families save for college and currently holds more than $8 billion in assets across nearly 300,000 accounts as of October 2017. With 100% tax-free growth, families can accumulate up to 25% more money for higher education – funds which can be used for a range of qualified expenses at most trade schools, colleges, and universities nationwide. ScholarShare 529 is offered by the State of California and managed by TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. For more information about the plan, visit ScholarShare529.com. For information about the ScholarShare Investment Board (SIB), which oversees ScholarShare 529, visit www.treasurer.ca.gov/ScholarShare. ScholarShare 529 can be found on Facebook at facebook.com/ScholarShare529 and on Twitter at @ScholarShare529.