Tennessee families have more time to register for one of two $5,290 scholarships awarded by the TNStars College Saving Sweepstakes. One family of an elementary school student and one family of a middle school student will be awarded $5,290 to set up college savings accounts. Contest entries will be received until Dec. 31. Winners will be randomly drawn in January.
TNStars, Tennessee’s 529 College Savings plan, celebrated its second anniversary in September with national accolades. SavingforCollege.com, a national clearinghouse for information on 529 programs, ranked TNStars in the top 10 of all direct-sold college savings programs. The group ranked TNStars eighth in investment performance over the last year. Earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal posted a list of best-performing options in the nation. Tennessee offered an investment option with the best return on investment, a 55 percent rate of return over last year.
TNStars, a program administered by the Tennessee Treasury Department, provides Tennesseans with a low cost option for friends and family to begin saving for their children’s college expenses with certain tax advantages and special incentives. One option is an age-based fund that features more aggressive investments when children are younger that automatically becomes more conservative as children approach college age. Money can be withdrawn from TNStars accounts tax-free, provided it is used for qualified higher education expenses.
This year, two Tennessee families could get a jump-start on saving for college. “We are giving away nearly $11,000 to encourage Tennessee families to start thinking about college savings today,” says Tennessee Treasurer David Lillard. “You have to think about investing for college as a marathon, not a sprint. Every step, no matter how big or small, will get you over the finish line.”
To enter the contest, students in kindergarten through 2nd grade will participate in a coloring contest while students in 3rd through 8th grades will complete the TNStars Financial Scholars Challenge. More information on the contest can be found at www.TNStars.com.
Tennessee families are also eligible to receive financial incentives up to $375 for opening TNStars accounts. Details on how to qualify for those incentives are also available at www.TnStars.com.