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While a degree improves the chances that a person will have a stable career and earn a living, saving for college increases the chance of obtaining that education—and a child’s confidence in doing so.
A 2013 study from the University of Kansas compared college enrollment statistics among low-income children. Researchers found that 45 percent of kids with no savings account had enrolled in college by 2009, and the number jumped dramatically to 72 percent for those with school savings of $500 or more.
UESP makes it easy for friends and family to join in the quest for a child’s education. The UESP Gift Program is a free service that allows account owners to invite family and friends to contribute to a UESP account using a unique gift code and link to a personal gift page. Gifts may be made online or by mail with a paper check.
Utah’s official college savings program provides a way for families to invest in their children’s education, bringing short-term benefits with tax credits. Most importantly, however, it puts within reach the long-term promise of helping students obtain a college education and begin a career, ultimately improving the economy for the future.
Lynne Ward is the executive director of UESP. Since 2004, she has led the organization’s growth from 53,500 accounts and $939 million in assets under management to more than 295,000 accounts and more than $8 billion in assets under management.