News & Press Releases
Treasurer Chiang’s ScholarShare offers 529 Day Match promotion to help families save for college
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — State Treasurer John Chiang and ScholarShare, California’s 529 college savings plan, are celebrating National 529 Day with a three-day promotion to help families jumpstart their college savings efforts.
“Higher education has never been more vital to future economic success, but it also has never been more costly. Crushing student debt is a toxin to the American Dream, which is why it is crucial families start setting money aside today,” said state Treasurer John Chiang, chair of the ScholarShare Investment Board.
The steep increase in cost to obtain a four-year degree has resulted in a student loan crisis in our country.
At $1.3 trillion dollars, student loan debt is now the second highest consumer debt in the United States, only behind mortgage debt. According to the Federal Reserve, that number was just $589 billion dollars in 2007.
“We have to do whatever we can to step up and help all of California’s families create a realistic pathway to a higher education,” Chiang said. “Our ScholarShare 529 Day matching promotion is a great way to start saving for college and head off the prospect of future graduates being saddled with a lifetime of debt.”
National 529 Day is a push by various states to raise awareness about the importance of saving for college with state-sponsored 529 plans.
The Matching Promotion
To be eligible for the matching promotion, families must open a new ScholarShare account between Wednesday, May 24 and 26, 2017 with a minimum $50 deposit — to be contributed and invested at the time the new account is opened — and sign up for a $25 Automatic Contribution Plan for six months.
The matching deposit of $50 will be made to the eligible ScholarShare account on or before 11:59 p.m. PST on January 30, 2018. There is a limit of one matching deposit per new ScholarShare account opened for each new beneficiary. Visit www.ScholarShare.com/529day for more information and complete terms and conditions.
Celebrate National 529 Day
In addition to the matching contributions, ScholarShare is celebrating National 529 Day by hosting various initiatives for new and current account holders, including “529 Crib Notes,” a free college savings webinar for moms with Rosie Pope and ScholarShare. The webinar will take place at 12 p.m. PT on Thursday, May 18, and cover what is a 529 plan, how 529 college savings plans work, the different investment options, and a live Q&A session. To register for the webinar, visit: https://cc.callinfo.com/r/107s7lp9402hd&eom. ScholarShare is also hosting local events at the LA Zoo in Los Angeles on Saturday, May 13, 2017, and the New Children’s Museum in San Diego and the Oakland Zoo in Oakland on Saturday, May 20 and Sunday, May 21, 2017, where attendees can learn more about the matching promotion and take photos at an on-site photo booth. For more information about the National 529 Day events, please visit https://www.scholarshare.com/buzz/?cat=3.
A recent study found that among parents who want to pay for college, 25 percent are confident about affording it, while 43 percent are nervous. The confident parents are nearly twice as likely to have basic knowledge about a 529 college savings plan and were also more likely to be using a 529 plan for their college savings. Parents who are confident about affording college are those who already have a college savings account of any balance — even if they are only saving $25 per month.
ScholarShare offers a diverse set of investment options to a family's priorities and college savings goals. The plan provides tax-deferred growth and withdrawals are free from federal and California state taxes when the funds are used to pay for qualified higher education expenses, such as tuition and fees, books, computer equipment, or certain room and board costs. Any U.S. citizen with a valid social security number or taxpayer identification number can open a new account, with as little as $25. ScholarShare has no annual account maintenance fee, no income limitation, and offers a maximum account contribution limit of $475,000. Through ScholarShare's "Give a Gift" option, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends can open a new account as a gift or make a contribution to an existing one.
About the ScholarShare 529 College Savings Plan
To sign up for an account, or for more information about the plan, visit www.ScholarShare.com. For information about the ScholarShare Investment Board (SIB), visit www.treasurer.ca.gov/scholarshare. Like ScholarShare on Facebook at www.facebook.com/scholarshare529 and follow us on Twitter at @ScholarShare529.
Named for the section of the IRS code under which they were created, 529 plans offer valuable tax advantages. Contributions are made with money that has already been taxed. Once funds are placed in the account, investment earnings, if any, are not federally or state taxed, if withdrawn to pay for qualified higher education expenses.
The ScholarShare 529 College Savings Plan Twitter and Facebook pages are managed by the State of California.