Frequently Asked Questions
Will $250 even cover 1% of the cost of college?
With the enormous cost of higher education, we would not expect a low-income family to save nearly enough to cover the full cost of postsecondary education. These funds will be invested and over time have the ability to grow. And even small amounts of money saved can make a difference in whether a child eventually ends up attending and graduating from college.
Research indicates that children from low-income households with savings for college of just $1-499 are three times more likely to attend college and four times more likely to graduate than low-income children who do not have savings accounts for higher education. Having savings for college helps build children’s expectations and fosters a college-bound identity, in which children see themselves as someone who will go to college. And, research shows that children and young adults’ expectations have a strong impact on whether they do, in fact, attend college.
Is this College Savings Account just like a regular savings account at a bank?
No, this College Savings Account (CSA) is called a “529 Plan” which are versatile savings accounts that offer federal, and sometimes state, tax benefits, while minimizing impact on financial aid. They are operated by a state institution, and are designed to help families set aside funds for future college and K-12 education costs which get invested in a diversified portfolio to maximize growth potential based on the age of the student beneficiary.
CSAs are long-term savings or investment accounts that provide incentives (e.g., initial deposits or savings matches) to help children and their families—especially those from low-income households—build dedicated savings for postsecondary education. They are a concrete way for communities to invest in the future of every child.
What is a 529 Plan?
A 529 plan is a special savings account designed to encourage early, affordable and consistent saving for college or any other form of postsecondary education. While a person can save money for college in any type of account, 529 plans provide certain advantages for those who intend to save money for higher education.
There are many benefits of a 529 plan. They include:
Upon graduation from 12th grade at Healdsburg High School, each student will be able to request funds from their individual 529 account as long as they maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA and complete a FAFSA or similar application. The funds are only allowed to cover qualified post-secondary education expenses such as college tuition, trade school, apprenticeship, and more.
Why do we need to work with the families?
The family is where any true expectations of college and its financial reality exist. K2C streamlines the process for families to start a college savings account through enrolling at Healdsburg Elementary and Healdsburg Charter Schools. The ease of enrolling school removes some of the biggest barriers for families. During school events, teachers and school staff can reinforce the message that they believe every child has a bright future and families should be looking forward to the day when their elementary student will graduate from high school and continue to pursue their educational goals.
K2C helps overcome other barriers families may face, such as a lack of funds to establish an account, by giving the initial deposit that is typically required to open an account and securing the seed funds for the accounts with up to $250 to spark future saving.
Do I or my student have to have a Social Security Number (SSN)?
No you do not need a SSN to open an account. If your student does not have a Social Security Number or Tax ID Number (ITIN), before your student graduates from high school, he or she would need to obtain a Social Security Number or Tax ID Number.
How can I contribute to my child’s account?
Parents, employers and extended family members are encouraged to participate in donating to their student’s account. Options for deposits include mailing a check or cashier’s check, direct deposit from a paycheck each month or wiring funds. For more information on how to make a deposit, please contact the Healdsburg Kinder2College office.
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