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Idaho gives college savings boost to parents of newborns

Families in eastern Idaho were among 11 throughout the state who were surprised with $529 in savings for their newborns Friday.

Parents, like Thomas and Kylee Rich, along with the other 10 parents, were chosen to receive the scholarship because their children were the first babies born at 11 hospitals on College Savings Day, May 29, a national effort to encourage savings for college.

“One of the biggest issues that we have in Idaho are that people generally aren’t aware of the college savings program and its usefulness in planning for college,” said IDeal, Idaho Savings Program Board Secretary Travis Schaat. “There’s a lot of statistics out there and a lot of them say people are six to seven times more likely to graduate from post-secondary education if there’s a college savings plan set up for them.”

Schaat said money invested in an IDeal account has the potential to grow and compound. He says the initiative works to encourage parents to add to the savings account during the early years of their child’s education.

“As a parent, you want your kid to have a better opportunity than you did growing up,” Thomas Rich said. “This is definitely a stepping stone for us to get her an education that she can go and achieve.”

“I just want her (their newborn) to know that anything is possible that she can think or dream or think up,” Kylee Rich said. “Now you don’t have an excuse. You have a start and this is possible.”

The state said this initiative gives Idaho taxpayers who contribute to an IDeal account the ability to take a state tax deduction. And money can be withdrawn from an IDeal account tax free, if it’s used on qualified expenses at any accredited post-secondary institution nationwide.

For more information about the Idaho College Savings Program, call 866-433-2533 or visit www.idsaves.org to obtain a Disclosure Statement. The Disclosure Statement discusses investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses and other important information.

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