State contributes to college savings accounts for babies

Gov. Dannel Malloy spoke at the launch of the CHET Baby Scholars program at the Friends Center for Children in New Haven. (Dannel Malloy/Flickr)

Gov. Dannel Malloy spoke at the launch of the CHET Baby Scholars program at the Friends Center for Children in New Haven. (Dannel Malloy/Flickr)

Gov. Dannel Malloy and State Treasurer Denise Nappier announced the launch of the CHET Baby Scholars program, designed to help Connecticut families start saving money for their children as soon as they’re born, on Thursday, Aug. 7.

“Studies have shown that children with a college savings account, of any amount, are seven times more likely to attend and graduate from college than those with no account,” said Gov. Malloy.

“By encouraging hardworking families to save for college right from the start, this program — in addition to investments in the Connecticut State College and University System — will help us build a future where all of our students have access to high-quality educational opportunities.”

Gov. Malloy introduced legislation establishing the CHET Baby Scholars Fund “to encourage savings for new-born and adopted children,” according to the governor’s press release.

The legislation also gives  Connecticut taxpayers the option to have a portion of their tax refund go to the CHET Baby Scholars Fund or to individual CHET accounts set up for their children or other beneficiaries, states the press release.

Ms. Nappier said the CHET Baby Scholars program “has the potential to influence lifelong savings behaviors and help families and children alike understand the importance of owning assets.”

“The birth or adoption of a child is a joyous time, filled with promise. There’s nothing like new life to give us hope for the future,” she said.

“What better way to start your child on the path to future success than to begin saving for his or her college education at the very start of their life’s journey?”

According to the governor’s press release, CHET Baby Scholars will deposit $100 into a CHET account for children born or adopted on or after January 1, 2014.

A second deposit of $150 is then made if family and friends of the child add at least $150 to the child’s enrolled CHET account within four years.

The CHET Baby Scholars participation deadline is 12 months after the child’s birth or adoption, according to the press release.

According to the press release, the value of a CHET account will be excluded from the determination of financial aid at state colleges and universities, as well as from consideration of other state-funded, means-tested programs.

“These exclusions will ensure that families struggling to make ends meet while savings for a child’s educational future won’t be unfairly penalized,” according to the press release.

To apply to open a CHET account, complete an enrollment form and learn more about CHET: www.aboutchet.com, 866-314-3939.

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