Now more than ever, parents of rising college students need essential information to inform their decision making. With pandemic-rooted health concerns, online learning challenges, and the quickly evolving landscape of higher education, knowledge truly is power. Inspired by this need, ScholarShare 529, California’s official College Savings Program, has developed a new resource for parents of high school juniors and seniors to help prepare them for college.
College Countdown pairs curated content about nearly every aspect of putting kids through college with a Parent Advisory Council that provides valuable peer-to-peer insight for parents of soon-to-be college students from parents who have already sent their kids to college. The program was created for ScholarShare 529 account owners whose kids are 16 or older, although it is available to anyone. To learn more about ScholarShare 529’s College Countdown, visit the website at: https://collegecountdown.scholarshare529.com/.
“As COVID-19 continues to change today’s higher education experiences, we’ve embraced innovation as a means to help California families navigate the transition from high school to college,” said State Treasurer Fiona Ma, chair of the ScholarShare Investment Board. “ScholarShare 529 has a track record spanning more than 20 years, and many account beneficiaries have college on the horizon. College Countdown will help these families plan for what’s next when they need it most, and I’d encourage college savers to take advantage of this valuable program.”
An interactive college prep timeline walks families step-by-step from the child’s junior year of high school through graduation, providing actionable tips and milestones to consider as college grows closer. Program content is comprised of more than 100 articles and videos contributed by an impressive roster of industry professionals covering seven important and timely topics. They include: affording college; using your 529; college admissions; student life; academic success; parenting; and COVID-19.
College Countdown comes on the heels of notable savings trends in California despite today’s challenges. During the first nine months of 2020, ScholarShare 529 has experienced one of its best years ever in terms of new account openings and contributions.
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 $10.6 billion in plan assets across more than 344,000 accounts as of Sept. 30, 2020.