State program breaks application mark | NevadaAppeal.com

State program breaks application mark

Staff Report

The number of applications from Nevada families during the 2014 open enrollment period for the Silver State Matching Grant Program* increased 62 percent over last year for a total of 414 applications, announced State Treasurer Kate Marshall.

The growth from the first open enrollment period to today is most certainly a great barometer for how this program is being welcomed and utilized by Nevadans.

“I am incredibly proud of the success of this program, which makes a significant difference in the lives of many Nevada families by helping them plan for higher education by adding to their college savings,” Marshall said. “I worked with our private sector program manager in 2009 to create the Silver State Matching Grant Program to specifically assist Nevada families by providing matching funds to their college savings plans to help families pave the way for a brighter future for their children.

This marks the fifth open enrollment period for the Silver State Matching Grant Program, which is available to Nevada families with an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of less than $75,000. Families who meet the eligibility requirements can receive a dollar-for-dollar match of up to $300 annually in their SSgA Upromise 529 Plan account. Last year, the program distributed over $67,283 in matching funding to 236 participants. The open enrollment period for the program runs from April 1 to July 31 each year. Matching funds come from program manager fees paid to the state; no taxpayer dollars are used.

Studies conducted by the Washington University’s Center for Social Development and by the University of Kansas’ School of Social Welfare show that children with a college savings account in their name are up to seven times more likely to attend college than those without, and that savings for college sends a strong message to children: you are a college saver; you are college bound. “The studies found that no matter what the amount deposited in a college savings account, the dream of pursuing higher education is made concrete with an actual savings plan,” Marshall added.