SC Babies Born On May 29 Get College Savings Grant - WSPA.com

SC Babies Born On May 29 Get College Savings Grant

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Financial experts say most parents are not saving enough for their child’s college education. Financial experts say most parents are not saving enough for their child’s college education.
SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. -

Babies arriving on May 29 in South Carolina were given a $529 college savings grant.

By 5:00 p.m., 11 babies had arrived at Spartanburg Regional and were eligible to receive the one-time money.

The PalmettoBaby grant program was designed to celebrate National 529 Day and make parents aware of the 529 plan, which is an investment account to help families save money for higher education costs.

Parents of the newborns have to open a new Future Scholar 529 account.

“We definitely needed it,” says new mom Casey Huffling, “so every little bit helps."

Each year, approximately 200 babies are born in South Carolina on May 29.

The money in a Future Scholar 529 plan can then be used later to pay for tuition and books at a two- or four-year school anywhere in the country.

“The advantage with 529 plans is the fact that it grows tax-free for college,” said Kyle Atkins, a certified financial planner in Spartanburg.

He recommends parents start putting away money now and it doesn’t have to be a lot since it will increase over time.

A recent survey by the College Board found the average yearly cost at an in-state moderately priced public college was $22,826. A moderately priced private college was $44,750 a year.

In 2012, the Office of State Treasurer re-negotiated the Future Scholar plan’s program management contract to expand investment options, create a marketing campaign that uses no funds from the public treasury, and reduce the management fees.

The new and improved Future Scholar 529 plan showed an increase of 46% for new accounts in 2013 over 2010’s figures, and families increased their investments in the plan by 44% during the same time.

The Wall Street Journal has recognized South Carolina’s Future Scholar plan as having the highest state tax deduction of any 529 plan in the country. Money Magazine called Future Scholar a leader in low fees and praised the contract re-negotiation, saying, “South Carolina eliminated program management fees and dropped investment expenses for in-state residents.”

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Emily Pace
Emily is a general assignment reporter covering Buncombe, Polk, Rutherford and Henderson Counties.
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