New Program Kickstarts College Planning

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RENO, NV -- If you have small children, college may seem like a long time away, but a new program launched by the Nevada State Treasurer can help you pay for your child's education starting now, and with as little $15 a month.

Monday, the Boys & Girls Club of the Truckee Meadows hosted "Family College Night" for parents and students from six local elementary schools-- Corbett, Kate Smith, Lemelson, Libby Booth, Lincoln Park and veteran. These students got a unique opportunity that will pay off in the long run.

It's not too late to start saving for your child's future. Amanda Lowrey has three young children and worries about having the means to give them the opportunity she never had.

"We can't afford college. I go to college myself and I'm buried in debt with loans, so to know that they can have a future that's not as stressful as mine is refreshing in so many ways," she said.

With college tuition on the rise, low-income families are finding it harder to reach that dream.

'It's very competitive: scholarships and grants, nothing is guaranteed anymore. It's expensive."

Now, kindergartners from six local elementary schools have a chance. The Nevada State Treasurer is giving each of those students a $50 kickstart to their college plans.

"When you put money in an account and you put that child's name on it, they are seven times more likely to go to college," Kate Marshall, Nevada State Treasurer, said.

Parents can open college savings accounts with as little as $15 dollars a month.

"That's a piece of pizza on Friday," Marshall added.

With a 13-year window, those savings can add up, especially since it's at a compound interest.

"Don't think about eating the entire elephant; just bite off a little bit, lower your child's debt, get your child in the door," she said.

Marshall is also offering a matching grant. For parents who make less than $75,000 a year, she will match dollar for dollar up to $300 a year.

"It means that they have that chance that I didn't have growing up," Lowrey said. "They have something that shows them that if they work hard that they can go on and do bigger and better things than we ever could do."

For her daughter Paige, it means she can keep doing what she loves without any distractions.

No tax dollars were involved in this new program. The funds were part of a grant from Charles Schwab Bank. The Nevada College Kickstart Program can also be used at any school credited by the United States Department of Education, which includes community colleges and trade schools.

To find out more information on the program, visit the link below.