SACRAMENTO, CA--(Marketwire -03/05/12)- ScholarShare, California's official 529 College Savings Plan, today announced the launch of its new Spanish-language offerings to help ensure all California families have the information they need to plan and save for the cost of a college education. ScholarShare's new website, www.scholarshare.com/espanol, offers comprehensive Spanish-language online tools and content detailing investment options.
"California's diversity is one of its greatest strengths," said Bill Lockyer, California State Treasurer and chairman of the ScholarShare Investment Board (SIB). "And with college education playing a large role in determining career success, it's crucial that all California families have access to the information and tools available to help plan and save for college. Providing Spanish-speaking Californians with materials specifically for them is an important step as we work to achieve that goal."
California's Latino residents place great importance on obtaining a college education. And they are increasingly concerned about rising tuition costs. According to the "Californians and Higher Education" study released in November of 2011 by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), 73 percent of the state's Latino residents believe a college education is necessary for success in today's economy. However, 66 percent of Latino residents are "very worried" they won't be able to afford a college education for their youngest child.
ScholarShare, managed by TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. (TFI), requires a minimum investment of only $25. ScholarShare currently offers one of the lowest-cost 529 investment options among nationally-available plans, according to a recent study by SavingForCollege.com (Saving for College.com 529 Fee Study, January 1, 2012 http://www.savingforcollege.com/529_fee_study/lowest.php).
"Tuition costs are on the rise, with the average California college student leaving school with well over $10,000 in debt," said Doug Chittenden, TIAA-CREF senior vice president and head of TFI Financial Services. "Planning for college sooner, opening a 529 plan and regularly contributing to it can help offset these significant cost increases and help steer families towards a debt-free college education."
Anyone -- from parents and grandparents, to cousins and family friends -- can open a ScholarShare 529 account, or contribute to an existing account, for the children in their lives. ScholarShare's 'Give a Gift' option can provide a perfect birthday or baptism gift.
College savings specialists are available for no cost phone and in-person consultations to answer all questions. To learn more about ScholarShare and California's 529 College Savings Plan, visit www.scholarshare.com/espanol.
About the ScholarShare 529 College Savings Plan:
ScholarShare accounts may be opened online with as little as $25. ScholarShare has no annual account maintenance fee, no income limit and offers a high maximum contribution limit of $350,000. The program currently holds more than $4 billion in assets. More than 300,000 accounts have been opened since ScholarShare's inception.
To sign up for an account or for more information about the plan, visit www.ScholarShare.com. For information about the SIB, visit www.treasurer.ca.gov/scholarshare. Follow ScholarShare on Twitter at @ScholarShare529.
Named for the section of IRS code under which they were created, 529 plans are highly regarded for their tax-advantaged status. Any earnings on investments can grow tax-deferred. Withdrawals, when used for tuition and other qualified higher education expenses, are federal and state tax-free.
Consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses before investing in the ScholarShare 529 Plan. Please visit www.scholarshare.com for a Disclosure Booklet containing this and other information. Read it carefully.
Before investing in a 529 plan, you should consider whether the state you or your Beneficiary reside in or have taxable income in has a 529 plan that offers favorable state income tax or other benefits that are only available if you invest in that state's 529 plan.
The tax information contained herein is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties. Taxpayers should seek advice based on their own particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor. Non-qualified withdrawals may be subject to federal and state taxes and the additional federal 10% tax.
Account value for the Investment Options is not guaranteed and will fluctuate based upon a number of factors, including general market conditions.
The Scholar Share 529 College Savings Plan Twitter page is managed by the state of California.
TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc., Program Manager.
- California State Treasurer