Dan Schwartz: What you need to know before applying for Silver State Matching Grant | NevadaAppeal.com

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Dan Schwartz: What you need to know before applying for Silver State Matching Grant

Saving for your child's college tuition can be overwhelming, but you don't have to do it alone. The Silver State Matching Grant was created together with the SSGA Upromise 529 Plan to not only help you, but match your contributions dollar-for-dollar for up to $300 per calendar year (up to a lifetime maximum of $1,500 over five years).

It is never too early to start saving for your child's future college education and avoid falling into the cycle of student loan debt. With the programs that are available to you through the state, you'd be hard-pressed to pass them up, especially one that is matching your savings.

To qualify, the beneficiary and applicant must be Nevada residents, household income (AGI from 2016 tax return) must not exceed $74,999, and beneficiary must be 13-years-old or younger as of Dec. 31, 2017. Applicant must also have an SSGA Upromise 529 Plan. If you don't already have one, sign up by visiting http://www.NV529.org.

Student loan debt has steadily increased by an astounding 97 percent just from 2009, according to Newamerica.org. Americans owe nearly $1.3 trillion in student loan debt, spread out among about 44 million borrowers, according to StudentLoanHero.com.

Paying off the debt could take anywhere from 10-25 years depending on the repayment plan, allowing time for the interest to add up to an incredible amount.

You will want to enroll as soon as possible, as there is a deadline. Online applications must be submitted before midnight, July 31, 2017. To access the online portal, visit https://www.ssga.upromise529.com/home/nevada-benefits/silver-state-matching-grant.html.

As parents, we all want the best for our children. By saving for their college education, we are paving the way for their success. If this program does not meet your needs, explore the many other college saving options the state offers, such as the Nevada Prepaid Tuition Program, Putnam 529 for America, the Vanguard 529 Plan, Wealthfront 529, and the USAA 529 College Savings Plan. Each plan is different, and they can even be combined to cover more of the higher education costs than one plan alone.

Join the State Treasurer's Office in creating a culture of education in Nevada where saving for children's higher education and diminishing debt is a priority.

To learn more about Nevada College Savings, visit our website at http://www.NV529.org, or call our office at 702-486-6980 or 888-477-2667.

Dan Schwartz is the Nevada State Treasurer.