the fall of 2013, the State Treasurer’s Office launched an exciting new pilot
program aimed at instilling the dream of a college education in the minds of
Nevada school children. The Nevada College Kick Start Program
(“Program”) established 529 college savings scholarship accounts for all
new fall 2013 kindergarten public-school students in 13 of Nevada’s most rural
communities. In February 2014, the Nevada College Kick Start Program expanded
statewide to include all public-school kindergarten children in Nevada. As of September
2019, more than 208,000 students have been added to the Program statewide.
College Kick Start Program does not cost parents anything and parents are
not able to contribute to the account. It truly is a free $50 college savings
scholarship account for your child. The Program uses a portion of program
management fees, not taxpayer dollars, to open an SSGA
Upromise 529 college savings account with an initial deposit of $50 for
every public-school kindergarten student in Nevada. The funds are held in a
Master Account, with the State Treasurer’s Office as the account owner. The
Master Account is managed by Ascensus College Savings, the program manager for
the College Savings Plans of Nevada.
Nevada College Kick Start scholarship accounts are established automatically
based on information provided by the Nevada Department of Education or the
individual school districts to the Treasurer’s Office, including the child’s
name and school district ID number. The Nevada College Kick Start scholarship account
will expire, and all funds will be returned to the Program if the account is
not claimed by August 1st following the
child’s 4th grade year. Please
visit NV529.org to learn how to “claim your child’s account”.
Once the account has been claimed, the available funds will need to be used for
qualified higher education expenses before the child reaches the age of 25 or
those funds will be returned to the Program.
conducted by the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St.
Louis outlined in, “The Role of Savings and Wealth in Reducing ‘Wilt’ Between
Expectations and College Attendance,” found that children with a college
savings account are up to seven times more likely to attend college than those
without an account. Similarly, a study conducted by the University of
Kansas’ School of Social Welfare found that college savings send a strong
message to children: “You are a college saver. You are college-bound.” The
study also concluded that “Even small accounts, in many cases inadequate to
even buy books for a semester, increase perseverance and improve academic
preparation.” It is important to note that such conclusions applied regardless
of family income, ethnicity, or the educational attainment of the child’s
to a study by the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown
University by 2020 65% of jobs will require post-secondary education. As of
2011, only 28% of Nevada adults hold an associate degree or higher, one of the
lowest college educated populaces in the nation. As Nevada works to
diversify the local economy, creating high level jobs with better pay and
benefits will require a more educated workforce to fill those positions. In
order to develop a workforce that is able to compete in a global economy, it is
essential more Nevadan’s plan for higher education.
the concept behind the Nevada College Kick Start Program can play an
important role in creating a “college-going culture” by planting a seed in the
minds of Nevada kindergartners and their parents that attending and graduating
from an institution of higher learning is a goal within reach.