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Let RISD Kick-Start Your College Savings

Dollars for College Program

Students who grow up with even a small college savings account are three times more likely to go to college and four times more likely to graduate.

That is why Richardson ISD is committing to opening individual college savings accounts for all kindergarten and first-grade students at Audelia Creek Elementary, Forest Lane Academy and RISD Academy.

How Does It Work?

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Step 1

Sign and return the Dollars for College Opt-In form to your child’s teacher, and RISD will make an opening deposit of $50 in a my529 Scholarship Account!

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Step 2

Receive an extra $25 deposit by registering your child by Oct. 18, 2019.

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Step 3

Over the next two years, RISD will offer incentives to earn additional deposits. Parents can contribute to their child’s account at any time.

FAQs

The Dollars for College Program is a partnership between your school and local funders. The goal is to help all students build long-term savings for college.  DFC will open a child savings account, called a 529 plan, in your child’s name. Through matching and incentive funds, your child’s account can grow to $500 in two years.

A 529 plan is an online investing tool that makes is easier for your family to pay for college. While you can save money for college in any type of account, a 529 plan provides certain perks if you are saving for college. The 529 plan that DFC uses is called my529.

My529 is a nonprofit, low-cost leader in helping students save for college.  It is a state-run plan designated to send more kids to college.  They charge no fees, are easy to access online and does not require a minimum deposit amount.

  1. Sign and return the Dollars for College Opt-In form to your child’s teacher. Just for that, RISD will make an opening deposit of $50 in a my529 Scholarship Account!
  2. Register your student for a personal my529 college savings account by October 18th, 2019. If you create an account by this date, you’ll receive an extra $25 deposit!
  3. Over the next two years, RISD will offer incentives to earn additional deposits. Parents can contribute to their child’s account at any time.

There isn’t one! Your school wants to invest in its students, and one of the most helpful ways to do so is saving for college. Research shows that children who have college savings accounts, even with $500 or less saved, are 3 times more likely to attend college, and 4 times more likely to graduate!

The default savings option will be like a normal savings account. This means no risk of losing value and it is FDIC-insured. At your choice, you can move funds into more market-based investments (such as mutual funds, stocks, bonds). These investments produce more financial returns, but also come with risk of losing value. More information on all of the options are offered at https://my529.org/performance-returns/

When your child completes High School, the funds can be used for college/university/trade-school tuition, housing, books, supplies and computers. The funds will be sent straight from the college savings account to the college on behalf of your child. Or you will be paid back for your child’s expenses with a provided receipt.

If you child chooses to not pursue any school after high school, the plan can be transferred without a fee to a family member (parent/sibling/first cousin/aunt). The money can be withdrawn for other purposes other than college, but this is highly discouraged due to fees.

It is not likely. When the government and college determine eligibility for financial assistance, the funds you set aside in a 529 plan will have a minor impact on your financial aid award each year. Saving money for college is always cheaper than taking out a student loan.

Money saved in 529 plans are excused from certain public assistance asset limits (including TANF, SNAP, and Medicaid). This means money saved won’t count against these benefits that your family receives.

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