The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

July 28, 2013

SMART529 grant program opens to eligible families


— The SMART529 Matching Grant Program has expanded and is now open to all eligible families, including those who already have a SMART529 college savings account, according to State Treasurer John Perdue.

Families who qualify may be eligible to receive a savings match of up to $500 a year, and up to $2,500 lifetime per child. The funds may be used to pay for higher education expenses at any eligible institution.

“We are very excited that this program will now benefit all eligible students no matter if they are currently in the SMART529 program or still considering joining it,” said Perdue.

“A college education is the best possible way to start your child off on the right track; however, paying for a college education today can be challenging. The matching grant program will help those with the biggest challenge jump start their college savings plan.”

Perdue said 90 percent of the fastest growing jobs of the future will require some post-secondary education or training.  In addition, the U.S. Department of Labor indicates that college graduates earn nearly twice as much as those with a high school degree.

To qualify for the West Virginia Smart Savings Match:

— The beneficiary must be a West Virginia resident and must be 12 years of age or younger.

— The account holder (parent/grandparent) must have filed a West Virginia state income tax return as a West Virginia resident in the year prior to opening a SMART529 account.

— The family must meet the income requirements (go to www.SMART529.com for detailed information).

— The account holder must be able to claim the beneficiary as a dependent for income tax purposes.

Visit www.SMART 529.com to download a copy of the Smart Savings Match grant application and to learn more about how to open an account.

SMART529 is West Virginia’s 529 savings program for education beyond high school.