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Money saved through the TNStars College Savings 529 Program can be withdrawn and spent tax-free on qualified higher education expenses, such as tuition, housing, books or other education-related equipment.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


Bright School Presents First Citizen Of The World Award

Becoming wise and compassionate citizens of the world is part of the educational experience at The Bright School, officials said. This year, the school is honoring young alumni for the first time with an award to recognize leadership in service to others. The Class of 2017 presented the inaugural Citizen of the World Award Friday at graduation to Mimi Vance ’10, who graduated ... (click for more)

Virginia College Hosts Bring A Friend Event And Culture Days

Virginia College in Chattanooga will host a Bring a Friend Event and Culture Day on Tuesday and  Wednesday, from  10 a.m. to noon  at the campus at 721 Eastgate Loop. The event is free and open to the public, as the community is invited to experience a day in the life of a Virginia College student. The event will feature refreshments, campus ... (click for more)

Richard Anderson, 29, Struck And Killed While Trying To Cross Highway 153

Richard Anderson II, 29, was killed Friday night, while trying to cross Highway 153.   Chattanooga Police responded at 11:36 p.m. to a traffic crash involving a pedestrian struck.   A Honda Civic driven by Kelsey Hamilton, 20, was traveling southbound on Highway 153 in the middle lane with other traffic in adjacent lanes.   Mr. Anderson, wearing ... (click for more)

Eppard, 32, Charged With Aggravated Statutory Rape After 17-Year-Old He Was Living With Has Baby

Police have charged 32-year-old Anthony John Eppard with aggravated statutory rape after the 17-year-old girl he was living with had a baby. Officers were called to a civil dispute on Hillsview Drive on March 8. It was then found that the girl was living at the residence. She could not supply the name of next of kin or a legal guardian. The girl was placed in state custody, ... (click for more)

Silence Ain’t Golden Anymore

There are times – moments – in life that you never forget. That night in 1972, sleeping over at my buddy Bart’s house, was one of them. We had been to a middle school concert and his big brother was in the band (very cool stuff for a 14-year-old!) and as we lay on the floor in our sleeping bags in Bart’s room he said he wanted to play a record that his brother listened to. And, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Prove No Improvement

The startling news that this year’s standardized testing was wasted on graduating seniors across Tennessee is most unsettling. This week it was learned the test results, which were to represent 10 percent of our seniors’ final grades, was a total bust. Coupled with last year’s gargantuan testing failure – the whole effort had to be scrapped -- it is now becoming realized that for ... (click for more)