SOURCE: ScholarShare

ScholarShare

February 11, 2012 11:00 ET

Give Your Littlest Valentine the Gift of a College Savings Plan

Help Cover Your Loved Ones' Cost of College With a ScholarShare College Savings Account

SACRAMENTO, CA--(Marketwire - Feb 11, 2012) - This Valentine's Day, ScholarShare, California's 529 college savings program, offers a new suggestion for people struggling to find that perfect gift for the children in their lives. Spending money on flowers, chocolates, and teddy bears year after year can really add up, especially when money for college is top of mind for many families. For just $25, California families can help their loved ones plan for college by opening a college savings account to help combat their child's future college tuition costs.

ScholarShare has the tools to make it easier than ever for anyone to contribute to their children's or loved ones' college fund. Through the "Give a Gift" option on its website, any gift giver can open a college plan for children of all ages or contribute to an existing account. Families interested in saving for college can open an account and check out ScholarShare's new online resource tools on their website. College savings specialists are available at no cost, phone and in-person consultations to answer all questions.

If your favorite loved one is already on the path to college, you can contribute to an existing account with the "Gift of Education Certificate," allowing for a personal message to be included for the beneficiary.

ScholarShare has been found to have one of the most affordable college savings plans in the country*. SavingForCollege.com found California as having one of the lowest-cost 529 investment options among nationally-available plans. Of all the states that offer their program to non-residents, ScholarShare had one of the most affordable options. (Saving for College.com 529 Fee Study, January 1, 2012 http://www.savingforcollege.com/529_fee_study/lowest.php)

About the ScholarShare 529 Plan:
ScholarShare accounts may be opened online with as little as $25. ScholarShare has no annual account maintenance fee, no income limit and offers a high maximum contribution limit of $350,000. The program currently holds more than $4 billion in assets. More than 300,000 accounts have been opened since ScholarShare's inception. To sign up for an account or for more information about the plan, visit http://www.scholarshare.com/. For information about the SIB, visit www.treasurer.ca.gov/scholarshare. Follow ScholarShare on Twitter at @ScholarShare529.

Named for the section of IRS code under which they were created, 529 plans are highly regarded for their tax-advantaged status. Any earnings on investments can grow tax-deferred. Withdrawals, when used for tuition and other qualified higher education expenses, are federal and state tax-free.

* Claim based on the 2012 Savingforcollege.com's 529 Fee Study which compared the lowest stock- or bond-based option with 10-year costs and expense totals for all direct-sold 529 savings plans.

Disclaimer

Consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses before investing in the ScholarShare 529 Plan. Please visit www.scholarshare.com for a Disclosure Booklet containing this and other information. Read it carefully.

Before investing in a 529 plan, you should consider whether the state you or your Beneficiary reside in or have taxable income in has a 529 plan that offers favorable state income tax or other benefits that are only available if you invest in that state's 529 plan.

The tax information contained herein is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties. Taxpayers should seek advice based on their own particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor. Non‐qualified withdrawals may be subject to federal and state taxes and the additional federal 10% tax.

Account value for the Investment Options is not guaranteed and will fluctuate based upon a number of factors, including general market conditions.

The Scholar Share 529 College Savings Plan Twitter page is managed by the state of California.

TIAA‐CREF Tuition Financing, Inc., Program Manager.

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