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Money saved through the TNStars College Savings 529 Program can be withdrawn and spent tax-free on qualified higher education expenses, such as tuition, housing, books or other education-related equipment.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

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