Tennessee’s College Savings Program Earns ‘Excellent’ Rating From Well-Known Consumer Advocate

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

TNStars College Savings 529 Program has earned an excellent rating from Saving for College LLC, a Pittsford, New York-based consumer advocacy organization that serves as a national clearinghouse for information about higher education expenses.

TNStars is a program that the Tennessee Treasury Department launched last year to give families a way of saving money for college expenses while receiving certain tax advantages. The program offers participants the opportunity to put their money into a variety of investment options, ranging from conservative to aggressive.

Money saved through the TNStars College Savings 529 Program can be withdrawn and spent tax-free on qualified higher education expenses, such as tuition, housing, books or other education-related equipment.

Saving for College LLC gave TNStars a rating of 4-1/2 out of five possible ‘caps.’ (Saving for College uses diploma caps instead of stars for its ratings system.)

According to its web site, www.savingforcollege.com, a program that earns five caps is “an excellent program with many benefits for the participant and positive investment attributes. If it has any significant weaknesses, then it also has some particularly good things to recommend it.”

The web site describes a five-cap program as “a program that offers outstanding flexibility, attractive investments and additional economic benefits (such as generous state tax incentives) that for some people, at least, will provide a substantial boost to their savings. There are few, if any weaknesses in the program.”

This is the first time TNStars has been rated by Saving for College LLC.

“I am very pleased with the rating TNStars received from Saving for College LLC,” said State Treasurer David H. Lillard, Jr. “Our staff has worked hard to create a program that provides attractive investment options at low costs. This rating confirms that TNStars on the right track. All Tennesseans who are parents or grandparents should use TNStars to save for college expenses for their loved ones to ensure them higher earnings in the workforce and a better quality of life.”

Saving for College LLC provides information used by many consumers and financial advisors.

To learn more about TNStars, call toll-free to 855-3TN-STAR (855-386-7827) or visit www.tnstars.com.


Chattanooga State Student Set To Receive Associate Of Science Degree Before High School Diploma

When interest surveys paralleled personal enjoyment, Emily Masters knew that her career goal would include helping others. Now, she will be graduating not only from Grundy County High School but also from Chattanooga State with 64 college credits under her belt and a 4.0 GPA. In May, Emily will receive her Associate of Science degree as a general transfer student before she receives ... (click for more)

Cleveland State Offers New Spring Line Up Of Continuing Education Courses

The Department of Continuing Education at Cleveland State Community College has a new line up of classes for spring. The upcoming classes are as follows: CREATIVE ARTS ?          T-Shirt Quilt Making Class This four-week session is an incredible way to preserve memories of all the sentimental t-shirts you’ve saved by ... (click for more)

Deonta Banks, 23, Shot On Wilcox Boulevard Early Sunday Morning

Deonta Banks, 23, was shot early Sunday morning on Wilcox Boulevard. At approximately  3 a.m.  the Chattanooga Police Department responded to shots fired at 3232 Wilcox Boulevard.  Upon arrival, Chattanooga police located a single victim, Deonta Banks, suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound. He  was transported to a local hospital for treatment. ... (click for more)

Man Stabbed In Domestic Dispute On Sunrise Lane Saturday Morning

A man was stabbed Saturday morning on Sunrise Lane.   At approximately  11:41  a.m., the Chattanooga Police Department responded to a reported stabbing at 309 Sunrise Lane.  Officers located a 45-year-old black male suffering from a non-life threatening stab wound. The victim was transported to a local hospital for his injury.   The ... (click for more)

Obama Doesn't Want You To Save For College

Over the past few decades, federal aid for post-secondary education has decreased and transitioned largely from grants to guaranteed student loans.   At the same time, the cost of college has far exceeded the cost of inflation creating a situation in which college has become less affordable and causing students to pile up debt that is at an all-time high.   This debt ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Great Peace Pipe

There is a serious rift between our state legislators and Erlanger Hospital that has me worried. If I worry about something, it doubles the power of the worry. My problem? I am convinced we have the best collection of people at the State Legislature in Nashville we’ve ever had – I adore each of them. I am also blessed to believe Erlanger is back on track and, after a sensational ... (click for more)