The pursuit of higher education can be intimidating, not just for students, but for parents as well. College is a massive monetary investment and many can become overwhelmed by the costs. Expenses and fear often keep individuals from pursuing their dreams and education goals.
The Kansas State Treasurer’s office is in the business of incentivizing parents to begin saving for their child’s educational success. One of our most unique savings incentives is a matching grant program called Kansas Investments Developing Scholars (K.I.D.S) and since my time as State Treasurer I’ve made spreading the word about this amazing program one of my top priorities.
With the growing price of tuition every year, combined with annual expenses, the dream of college is hard to make a reality.
But with the Kansas K.I.D.S. Matching Grant program individuals in specific income brackets can get an extra boost from the state to save for their children’s education. With a minimum investment of $100 a year into a Learning Quest 529 account, qualified individuals can receive a grant from the state of Kansas matching every dollar you place in your account up to $600 per year. Over the course of 18 years of eligibility a single K.I.D.S. account could potentially be funded with up to $10,800 of state grant dollars. It is a 100% return on investment designed to equip and support families to send their children to college with minimum debt.
The matching grants program has 1200 spots available annually with a budget of $720,000 to match investments.
Cindy Sexton and her daughter Chelsea were one of many who took advantage of this amazing opportunity. Chelsea’s father passed away when she was three years old, leaving Cindy to shoulder the burden of providing for their little family and saving for Chelsea’s future. Cindy set aside $25 from each paycheck for 14 years into a Learning Quest 529 account, and also qualified three times for $600/year in grants through the K.I.D.S. Matching Grant Program. Because of this extra help, Cindy was able to send her daughter to college with minimal debt.
“Thanks to the K.I.D.S. Matching Grant Program, our dream came true,” Cindy says. “It was a no-brainer to take advantage of a program that matches money for saving for college” Cindy says, “I’m so thankful we found out about it.”
For Kansas families concerned about the affordability of higher education a K.I.D.S. account is an amazing opportunity to fund your child’s education. Certain lower-income qualifications are required, but it is important to note that more than 40% of households with children are eligible for this program. With no risk and only reward, it does not even cost a penny to open an account.
A K.I.D.S matching grant can change the course of a child’s future and that is why we are so excited and passionate about this program. Because of Cindy’s hard work, she was able to watch her daughter break the cycle in her family and a college education was a huge part of it. Not only did Chelsea’s degree earn her an amazing job, she was able to pay back her student loans almost immediately, which she only had to take out for her last year of school.
“It makes me emotional to see her living this fairy tale life that I always wanted for her,” says Cindy. “No one deserves it more … she’s a wonderful daughter and has my whole heart.”
For more information on how to open a Learning Quest 529 account or find out if you are eligible for the K.I.D.S. Matching Grant, visit www.LearningQuest.com or contact our office at 785-296-3171.
–Jake LaTurner, Kansas State Treasurer