ScholarShare 529 College Savings Plan

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ScholarShare 529 Launches Children’s Savings Account (CSA) Platform

New platform designed to support local governments and non-profit organizations interested in establishing a local CSA program
Dec 08, 2019

SACRAMENTO, Calif., December 9, 2019 – ScholarShare 529, California’s official college savings plan, announced today the launch of its Children’s Savings Account (CSA) platform designed to support local governments and non-profit organizations interested in establishing a local CSA program. The ScholarShare 529 platform is intended to support organizations that currently administer a citywide or regional CSA program or that may implement one through the CSA Grant Program.

“Studies show that children with up to $500 saved for college are three times more likely to enroll – and four times more likely to graduate from – college than children who have nothing saved,” said State Treasurer Fiona Ma, chair of the ScholarShare Investment Board. “The ScholarShare 529 team is ready to assist in the development of local CSA programs, and our innovative platform can help reduce some of the administrative burden. We look forward to partnering with local governments and nonprofit organizations to help California families reach their higher education goals.”

ScholarShare 529: The Platform of Choice for CSAs
Approximately 90 percent of all CSAs are built on a 529 platform, and this percentage continues to grow. Investment growth potential and targeted investment options are key policy design elements of a CSA plan, according to the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis, and 529 platforms provide both benefits. “In short, no existing financial platform other than 529 plans provides a comparable combination of features required for (CSAs),” the Center’s February 2018 policy brief notes.1

The ScholarShare 529 platform uses leading-edge technology to empower local governments and nonprofit organizations to deliver a CSA program with minimal administrative burden. The VistaShare Outcome Tracker provides easy import of child data, application of additional contributions and incentives, direct interaction with parents, data reporting, and seamless integration with ScholarShare 529 accounts. Since 2010, CSA programs nationwide have relied on VistaShare Outcome Tracker to securely manage data.

To learn more about ScholarShare 529’s CSA platform, please visit www.ScholarShare529.com/CSA or contact ScholarShare 529 directly at scholarshare@treasurer.ca.gov or (916) 651-6380. For information about the Child Savings Account Grant Program including how your organization may apply for a grant, visit https://www.csac.ca.gov/child-savings-account-grant-program.

About ScholarShare 529
ScholarShare 529, a Gold-rated college savings plan by Morningstar, serves as California’s official college savings plan. Administered by the ScholarShare Investment Board, ScholarShare 529 provides families with a valuable tool that offers a diverse set of investment options, tax-deferred growth, and withdrawals free from state and federal taxes when used for qualified higher education expenses, such as tuition and fees, books, certain room and board costs, computer equipment, and other required supplies. ScholarShare 529 manages over $9.7 billion in plan assets across more than 329,000 ScholarShare 529 accounts as of 11/30/19.

To open a ScholarShare 529 account or get more information about the plan, visit www.ScholarShare529.com. For information about the ScholarShare Investment Board, visit www.treasurer.ca.gov/scholarshare, like ScholarShare 529 on Facebook at www.facebook.com/scholarshare529, and follow them on Twitter at @ScholarShare529.

1 https://openscholarship.wustl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1043&context=csd_research

In an annual review (10/22/2019) of the largest 529 college savings plans (62 total), Morningstar identified 30 plans that rose above their typical peers, awarding those plans Gold, Silver, and Bronze Morningstar Analyst Ratings for 2019. These forward-looking, qualitative ratings signal Morningstar's conviction in the plans' abilities to outperform their relevant benchmark and peer groups on a risk-adjusa ted basis over the long term. Morningstar evaluates college savings plans based on five key pillars – Process, Performance, People, Parent, and Price. ©2019 Morningstar. All Rights Reserved. The information contained herein: (1) is proprietary to Morningstar and/or its content providers; (2) may not be copied or distributed; and (3) is not warranted to be accurate, complete or timely. Neither Morningstar nor its content providers are responsible for any damages or losses arising from any use of this information. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. A Morningstar Analyst Rating for a 529 college savings plan is not a credit or risk rating. Analyst ratings are subjective in nature and should not be used as the sole basis for investment decisions.

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