PICKENS COUNTY — Saving for college can be a daunting task for any parent, but if your baby was born at the end of May this year — you might be off to a good start already and not even know it.
In celebration of its 15th anniversary, South Carolina’s Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan has expanded the PalmettoBaby Grant Program.
According to the S.C. State Treasurer’s Office, PalmettoBaby offers a $529 grant to every baby born in the state on May 29 — “529 Day.”
But this year, in celebration of the plan’s 15-year milestone, State Treasurer Curtis Loftis made the decision to add a comma, increasing the amount to $5,290. The eligible dates were also lengthened to include not just May 29, but May 30 and May 31 as well.
“We are happy to celebrate Future Scholar’s growth and success over the last 15 years,” said Loftis, who administers the plan. “Helping families save for college has been a priority of mine since I took office in 2011, and I look forward to introducing more families to the Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan and all the benefits it has to offer.”
Sponsored by the State of South Carolina, Future Scholar is basically a convenient way for parents to save for their kid’s college.
“The value of a college education is undeniable and we know families benefit when they have an investment vehicle to help maximize their hard-earned savings.,” he said. “Future Scholar offers a way to grow savings now to meet college expenses when that important time comes.”
When the program debuted in 2002, 9,800 accounts were opened utilizing the program. Fifteen years later the number of participants has ballooned to over 134,000 with total assets reaching around $2.7 billion.
“As it reaches its 15-year milestone, Future Scholar is not only bigger, it’s better,” Loftis said. “In addition to the programs exceptional growth, Future Scholar has one of the best state tax deductions of any 529 plan in the country, and our Financial Literacy Program, launched in 2015, has benefited more than 9,300 students in South Carolina.”
Although anyone can open a FutureScholar account, only babies born on May 29-31 are eligible for the PalmettoBaby grant. To apply, visit www.futurescholar.com/palmettobaby.
Deadline is Sept. 1.