Tennessee could add $1,500 to your college savings if you qualify

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Not only is college pricey, but the technical glitches for this year’s online FAFSA form for student loans confused a lot of college applicants over the past few months. However, in order to avoid massive debt after college, Tennessee has a program to help families save.

“It can make a huge difference,” said Shelli King, communications director for the Tennessee Department of Treasury.

King wants parents to know there’s free money out there for college through the Tennessee Investments Preparing Scholars (TIPS) program.

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“TIPS offers a 4-to-1 matching grant for income-eligible families into their TNStars accounts,” said King. “We’re really trying to make sure we’re reaching more and more families with the program.”

Here’s how TIPS works:

  1. Open an a 529 college savings account through TNStars College Savings.

  2. Fill out the TIPS application.

  3. If your family income qualifies, TIPS can match your investment 4-to-1.

“Save $25 between now and the end of the qualifying period, and TIPS would put $100 into a TNStars account for your child. Save $125 between now and the qualifying period and you would get a full $500 matching grant for the year,” King explained. “Families can get up to $1,500 per child over their lifetime.”

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A family of four making less than $75,000 a year would qualify. However, you’ll want to act soon because this year’s qualifying period ends June 30.

Once your child is ready for higher education — whether that’s a two-year program, four-year program, or technical school — you can use those dollars for tuition, books, computers, and the earnings are not taxed.

“In the savings world, start saving early, get that compounding interest. You earn interest on your interest, and it really helps your savings grow over time,” said King.

If you want to apply for the TIPS program, follow this link.

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