Fallon hosts College Kick Start program
State Treasurer Kate Marshall has announced the launch of the Nevada College Kick Start Program, an ambitious project with the lofty goal of increasing college participation among Nevada high school graduates.
“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. “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.”
Marshall will soon embark on a Northern Nevada Rural Tour of elementary schools to promote the program and to answer parent questions. The Fallon session is Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at Northside Early Learning Center.
The Nevada College Kick Start Program will help support the dream of a college education by establishing $50 college savings accounts for each 2013-2014 public school kindergarten student attending school within the pilot program area. “We chose to launch the Nevada College Kick Start Program with kindergarteners because it provides Nevada families with a 13-year window in which to save and plan for future higher education,” Marshall said.
Marshall pointed to the fact that studies have shown that children that know they have a college savings account in their name are seven times more likely to attend an institution of higher learning. She added that a college savings account sends a strong message to a child: “You are a college saver. You are college-bound.” Marshall said, “It’s important to note that the study found that even small accounts, often not enough to buy books for a semester, improves a child’s determination and preparedness for college and higher education.”
Marshall said her office will encourage parents to consider using the initial $50 deposit as a stepping stone to greater college savings by opening a separate college savings account to incrementally grow their child’s savings over the next thirteen years.
“We have worked with our College Savings Plans of Nevada program manager to lower the minimum account opening fee to $15 for Nevada families, with $15 per paycheck or $50 per month deposits after the account is established,” Marshall said. “Remember, it’s not that you have to save for every college expense, but whatever you can save lowers your or your student’s college debt, while at the same time sending the message to your child that college is in his or her future.”
To learn more about the Nevada College Kick Start Program, go to http://CollegeKickStart.nv.gov. To find out about the many advantages Nevada families have in opening an SSgA Upromise 529 college savings plan account, go to Nevadas529.com.