ScholarShare 529, California’s official college savings plan, has announced the launch of its third annual Matching Grant Program designed to help low- and moderate-income families achieve their college savings goals. The program provides a dollar-for-dollar match of contributions up to $200 and a $25 bonus for establishing an automatic contribution plan for families who meet eligibility requirements and open new accounts starting Feb. 1, 2020.
“Higher education has a direct, positive impact on the trajectory of the future of young people, yet today’s families are shouldering more student loan debt than ever before,” said California State Treasurer Fiona Ma. “The ScholarShare 529 Matching Grant Program lays the foundation for saving for higher education for eligible families, and sets the stage for greater achievement. We encourage eligible California families to take advantage of this program and start saving as early as possible.”
For more information about ScholarShare 529’s 2020 Matching Grant Program, including eligibility requirements, terms and conditions, and instructions for applying, visit www.ScholarShare529.com/MGP.
“All California children deserve the chance to pursue their dreams and aspirations through higher education, and our Matching Grant Program intends to help them get there,” said Julio Martinez, executive director of the ScholarShare Investment Board. “We are excited to deliver this program for the third consecutive year and look forward to helping California families achieve their savings goals.”
ScholarShare 529 works closely with community-based organizations across California to help eligible families participate in the Matching Grant Program. Eligible 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.
Saving for college using ScholarShare 529 is potentially worth thousands of dollars to savers through 100 percent tax-free growth. In addition to tax benefits, ScholarShare 529 has a strong track record of investment returns and competitive fees, which helps savers potentially earn higher investment returns – and keep more of those returns – than they would investing in a lower-performing, higher-fee 529 college savings plan.
In October 2019, ScholarShare 529 celebrated its 20-year anniversary with a Gold Morningstar Analyst Rating. Morningstar upgraded ScholarShare 529 to Gold from Silver and awarded only four plans a Gold rating for low costs, strong stewardship, and exceptional investment options. In its annual review 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-adjusted basis over the long term. Morningstar evaluates college savings plans based on five key pillars – Process, Performance, People, Parent, and Price. For more information about Morningstar’s overview of ScholarShare, go to Morningstar.com.
ScholarShare 529 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. ScholarShare529 manages over $10 billion in plan assets across more than 333,000 ScholarShare 529 accounts as of Jan. 16, 2020.
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.