Nevada State Treasurer Kate Marshall will visit Eureka Elementary School at 11:45 a.m. on Sept. 26 to promote the Nevada College Kick Start Program. The stop is one of six schools Marshall will visit during the tour.
“As administrator of Nevada’s 529 program and as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the College Savings Plans of Nevada, it gives me great pride to see this new program jump off the planning table and into action,” Marshall said in a press release. “We will be traveling around the state over the next few months to showcase the program with parents and school officials. We have received tremendous support for the program from school superintendents across the state and look forward to a strong partnership in helping to build a more college-going culture in our youth.”
The Nevada College Kick Start Program aims to support college education by establishing $50 college savings accounts for each 2013-14 public school kindergarten student attending the school within the pilot program area. The program will later expand to other parts of Nevada.
“This is a pilot program that will later expand statewide,” NSTO Chief of Staff Steve George said. “Treasurer Marshall made the decision to launch the Nevada College Kick Start Program in rural communities for a variety of reasons, including that the number of students makes for a smaller and more manageable pilot and the fact that we wanted to give rural communities the first bite at the apple, which is often not the case in Nevada.”
The goal of helping families start to save while their children are in kindergarten is aimed at helping families start saving when they have a 13-year window before college. But no matter when families start saving, every little bit counts, George said.
“One of the things we think paralyzes some parents is that they can’t see how they’ll be able to cover the entire cost of college,’ George said. “The message we deliver is you don’t have to. There is financial aid, the Gov. Guinn Millennium Scholarship and other avenues of financial support for students, which help lower your overall cost. The big idea is to save what you can so your child knows it’s a plan for his/her future and to lower higher education debt as much as possible.”
For families looking to start saving, the minimum start-up cost has been lowered to $15 to open account and then have required monthly payments paid through automatic withdrawals from a checking account or paycheck. And while families may not think they can save a lot, every little bit helps.
“Even small amounts add up,” George said. “Even if your child is in middle school and you begin saving, those dollars will decrease the debt you or your child will incur when those higher education bills start coming in.”
The Treasurer’s Office also provides college saving plan accounts for families who don’t qualify for the Nevada College Kick Start Program. For more information, please visit www.Nevadas529.com.
“The Treasurer’s Office also provides Nevada families with an enhanced ability to grow college savings, up to $300 per year with a $1,500 maximum,” George said. “The Silver State Matching Grant is available to all Nevada families who open a separate SSgA Upromise college savings account and their annual household income is less than $75,000. If you meet the qualifications, it’s a dollar-for-dollar match: you put in $50 dollars and we’ll match it with $50; you put in $300 and we’ll match it with $300. The application period for the Silver State matching Grant Program is April 1 through July 31.”
To find out more information about the Nevada College Kick Start Program, please go to www.CollegeKickStart.nv.gov.