What is the Scholars Savings Program?
The Scholars Savings Program (SSP for short) is a college savings program. The goal of this program is to help families start up a college savings for a child to help pay for higher education expenses.
Through this program you can open a 529 college savings plan for your child or a relative. A 529 plan is a special kind of savings plan authorized by Congress in 1996 to help families save for college from an early age. Accounts you open through the Scholars Savings Program are opened with my529.
my529 is a partner of the El Monte Promise Foundation and in charge of providing the 529 plans. Other 529 plans exist in the United States, in fact each state has at least one 529 provider. However, the El Monte Promise Foundation is working with my529 to offer 529 plans at no cost to open, and no minimum deposit to save!
The Scholars Savings Program allows you to open and manage a college savings account for your child free of charge.
The college savings plans offered through Scholars Savings Program are called 529 plans.
my529 is the 529 provider for the Scholars Savings Program.
Families can get an account up and running in 20 minutes.*
Enrollment is only available online and in English.
If you need assistance please contact us. Please see our enrollment requirements for more information.
Over 200 students are saving for college with Scholars Savings Program!
*Approximate enrollment time based on average duration of enrollments.
Research shows that children from families who save for education are 3x more likely to attend college and 4x more likely to graduate, compared with those with no college savings.
When you save and invest now, the money you save can grow and be worth much more.
To set up an account you need 3 things**.
A Social Security Number or ITIN*** (Individual Tax Identification Number) for you or the adult who will open the account.
A Social Security Number or ITIN for the child who will have a Scholars Savings Account.
An active email address for accessing your child’s Scholars Savings Account online.
BENEFITS TO THE SCHOLARS SAVINGS PROGRAM
OWNING A 529 PLAN
- There can be tax advantages when you save and the money is used to pay for your child’s qualified educational expenses.
- Anyone at least 18 or older can set up an account on behalf of a beneficiary (usually a child). This means a grandparent, legal guardian, aunt, uncle, older sibling etc. may open an account for a child.
- Money saved in a 529 will not reduce benefits for families receiving CalWORKs.
- 0.00% – 5.64% of your savings in a 529 plan is counted as income for your child’s FAFSA on the EFC (Expected Family Contribution) – a great amount of asset protection.
- You can open a Scholars Savings Account at no cost!
- El Monte Promise Foundation can support you with Spanish translation.
- No minimum deposit is required to save.
- You own the account and you have direct control.
- Net balance of 0 fees!*
- Select accounts qualify for Scholar Dollars (additional benefits).
*Scholars Savings Accounts are subject to the my529 Plan Administrative Fee, but the fee is offset by the interest gained on the account totaling to no fees for the account.
OVERVIEW OF REQUIREMENTS
THE ACCOUNT OWNER:
- Must be 18 years of age or older
- Must have a Social Security Number OR an ITIN (Individual Tax Identification Number
- Must have access to an email address
- Must have the Social Security Number OR ITIN of the child who shall have a Scholars Savings Account
THE ACCOUNT OWNER:
- Must have access to a personal bank account
- Must have online access to the child’s Scholars Savings Account
- Must keep track of his or her own banking transactions
For personal checks/money orders:
- Make the check/money order out to “my529“
- Write the child’s name and my529 Account Number in the memo section of the check/money order
- Send the check/money order to the my529 mailing address
- Must not send any deposits to the El Monte Promise Foundation
Parents, grandparents, legal guardians, aunts, uncles, and/or older siblings can set up a Scholars Savings Account for a child if they meet the Account Owner requirements that are listed above.
WHAT CAN I DO IF...
You don’t need a Social Security Number to open a Scholars Savings Account. You can open an account with an ITIN (Individual Tax Identification Number).
To apply for an ITIN you will need to fill out IRS Form W-7 and submit requested documentation to a local IRS office. Please visit the IRS website for more information. Information is available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese.
You don’t need a bank account to open a Scholars Savings Account. A personal bank account is optional if you wish to make deposits online.
If you do not have a bank account you may still make a deposit via mail to your child’s Scholars Savings Account with a check or a money order.
If you already have a Scholars Savings Account for your child, or you wish to open an account and need access to a computer and/or internet please contact us for help!
We are more than happy to assist families who need access to a computer and/or internet for account access or enrollment in the Scholars Savings Program.
Please note you may need to make an appointment with our staff to make sure we are able to serve you. Contact us for more information.