About the Scholar Dollars Grant Program
ScholarShare 529 is California’s official 529 college savings plan and is dedicated to ensuring that our state’s students are well-positioned to achieve great things. It’s why we support families in saving for the costs of higher education. And it’s why we have established the ScholarShare 529 Scholar Dollars grant program to help fund public school programs that enrich students’ experiences. The main objective of this program is to generate engagement and meaningful conversation about the importance of attending and saving for higher education. We believe this program offers the perfect opportunity for collaboration between ScholarShare 529 and K-8 schools.
ScholarShare 529 is overseen by the ScholarShare 529 Investment Board, which is chaired by State Treasurer John Chiang, and managed by TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc.. Named after Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, 529 plans such as ScholarShare 529 provide families with a valuable tool that offers families a diverse set of investment options, tax-deferred growth, and withdrawals free from state and federal taxes when used for qualified higher education expenses at eligible educational institutions.
Since 1999, ScholarShare 529 has grown to more than 280,000 accounts with over $7 billion in total plan assets. More importantly, ScholarShare 529 has helped families meet their higher education needs with more than $2 billion withdrawn for qualified higher education expenses since the plan’s inception. ScholarShare 529 is ranked as one of the top-rated 529 college savings plans in the country by Morningstar, an independent investment research firm, and is considered one of the top performing direct-sold 529 plans by www.savingforcollege.com.
About the California State Treasurer’s Office
The office of California State Treasurer has broad responsibilities and authority in the areas of investment and finance. John Chiang was elected on Nov. 4, 2014 as California’s 33rd State Treasurer.
As the state banker, Treasurer Chiang oversees billions of dollars in transactions every year. He also serves on numerous State authorities, boards and commissions, including the ScholarShare 529 Investment Board (SIB).
Some of the Treasurer’s key responsibilities include:
- Managing the state’s Pooled Money Investment Account, which invests monies on behalf of state government and local jurisdictions to help them manage their fiscal affairs.
- Serving on the boards of the Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS).
- Financing a variety of important public works needed for the state’s future, including schools and higher education facilities, transportation, parks, and environmental projects.
- Chairing authorities that finance a wide range of significant projects, including pollution clean-up, small businesses and health care facilities.
- Playing a key role in statewide housing finance as Chair of the Tax Credit Allocation Committee that awards hundreds of millions of dollars in tax credits for affordable housing and as a member of the Board of the California Housing Finance Agency, which finances affordable housing.