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Money saved through the TNStars College Savings 529 Program can be withdrawn and spent tax-free on qualified higher education expenses, such as tuition, housing, books or other education-related equipment.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


MatCounts Cancelled This Week

The e-week MathCounts event scheduled for  this Saturday  has been cancelled due to unforeseen schedule conflicts among the competing teams. Jeff Parris, organizer for this event, regrets any inconvenience this may cause those who had planned to help with the event. Jeff can be reached at  423-503-8766 . (click for more)

Lee University YAPD Grant Recipients Announced

The Office of Alumni Relations at Lee University has announced the winners of the second annual Young Alumni Professional Development Grant.  The YAPD Grant program supports alumni participating in initiatives, events, trainings and projects related to professional development. The grant is open to all Lee University alumni, regardless of academic major or professional experience, ... (click for more)

Underground Fire Closes Several Downtown Streets

An underground fire closed several downtown streets late Saturday afternoon. At approximately 5:20 p.m., the Chattanooga Fire Department responded to a reported fire in a man-hole at the corner of Chestnut Street and W. 8th Street. When fire companies arrived on the scene, they found black smoke coming from an underground electrical service line. The man-hole cover had been ... (click for more)

16-Year-Old Who Was Shot In The Head In East Ridge Dies

Monserrate Ferrer, the 16 year old who was shot in East Ridge on Friday, has died. Investigators will meet early next week with the Hamilton County District Attorney's Office to discuss the case. The shooting that involved two juveniles was at the 4200 block of Bennett Road. Responding officers found a 16-year-old boy in the bedroom with a single gunshot wound to the ... (click for more)

The City Failed To Watch The Chattanooga History Museum Dollars

The tell tale signs of the History Museum's folly have been evident for years. When I was a former member of City Council I interviewed Dr. Daryl Black, Ph.D. to determine if I should argue for or against the annual funding of his organization. His interview, the multi-year history of administrative non-performance (despite consistent repetitive funding), and a review of the organizational ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Vote ‘No’ On Vouchers

I fully believe that public education in Hamilton County is the single most important opportunity that challenges us today. Over the weekend the new website for the ‘Chattanooga 2.0’ initiative went up and every parent who has a child in our public system should make it “required reading.” You can find it at www.chatt2.org. Please sign up for updates because a lot of us need to ... (click for more)