The ScholarShare 529 Matching Grant Program helps kids realize college dreams

In Education by Angela AmmanLeave a Comment

Saving money for college gets a lot of attention in our home — and for good reason. College costs seem to rise by the day, and our kids’ ambitions seem to rise with them. My daughter’s been talking about becoming a veterinarian for years, and her new pet kitten fueled that dream even further. She investigates vet programs and college campuses. Thanks to many stories about when my husband studied in Germany, she’s even talking about study abroad programs to study “exotic animals.” Thankfully,ScholarShare 529, and other programs like it, make it easier than ever for parents to save for college.

ScholarShare matching grant program

A new program from ScholarShare 529

We’ve written aboutScholarShare 529 in the past, because we truly believe in starting to save money for college early. It feels like the best way to alleviate some of the stress surrounding college tuition costs. However, even with programs like ScholarShare in place, many families struggle to even start a savings plan for their kids’ college funds, let alone keep up contributions on the fund.

This January,ScholarShare 529 introduced a new program aimed at helping even more kids get closer to their college dreams. The Matching Grant Program aims to help low-to-moderate income families save for college by offering a dollar-for-dollar match contribution of up to $200 on new accounts. Families setting up an automatic monthly contribution of at least $25 are eligible for a $25 bonus.

Why ScholarShare developed the Matching Grant Program

Research shows that children with savings accounts, however small, are seven times more likely to attend and graduate college.ScholarShare 529 wants to make sure every family has the opportunity to start a savings account for their kids. “The wealth gap in our country is the widest it has been in 40 years and the ability to afford higher education is becoming increasingly difficult for low- and moderate-income California families,” said State Treasurer John Chiang, chair of the ScholarShare Investment Board. “To break the back of college unaffordability, we need to both tame out of control tuition increases and student loan debt as well as help families build college nest eggs.”

Learn more about ScholarShare 529’s Matching Grant Program

Remember, ScholarShare 529 account funds can be applied to all sorts of post-high-school educational opportunities. Use your educational savings at accredited higher education institutions from traditional universities to trade schools, community colleges to other approved educational expenses. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that vet school is on that list.

Saving for college matters — but what about their current schools?

Of course, many of our kids won’t be taking classes on a college campus for years. So while we definitely save for their future, we want them to have the best opportunities possible at their current schools. ScholarShare 529 — California’s college savings plan — agrees. They know college readiness starts when kids are young, and they want to give California schoolchildren the best possible start.

The Scholar Dollar grants program will award more than $300,000 in grants to K-8 schools in California. Schools can use the grant money for innovate programs, new science lab equipment, band uniforms, library resources, computers, tutoring, and more.

Check out this (short!) overview video of the program. In less than two minutes you can learn about the program — and then learn more about how to get money for your school.

Disclosure: ScholarShare 529 sponsored this post. All opinions are my own.

Meet the Author | Angela Amman

Angela Amman is a short story and essay writer. Collecting her family's stories is a gift-in-progress for her daughter and son, and she blogs at Playing with Words, capturing the craziness and beauty that weave together to create something extraordinary. As the co-director of Listen To Your Mother Metro Detroit, Angela is thrilled to bring others' stories to the stage and to celebrate the magic of words, storytelling, and the courage to share that magic with an audience. When she should be sleeping, she works on her latest short story collection. Her writing has been featured on Mamalode, Peacock Journal, and Scary Mommy. Her personal essays and short stories have appeared in her collection, Nothing Goes Away, and various anthologies.

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