The saying “It’s the longest shortest time,” could not feel any more true a statement when you are a parent of a three-nager. Full of energy, wonder, emotions, and imagination, my once itty bitty baby boy turned three-years-old in April. It seems like just yesterday we were celebrating his first birthday.
And, on the topic of birthdays, my little lass is turning one in a mere handful of days. My days have been long, but man, these past three years – and especially this past year – have been SHORT! Where does the time go?
I can hear my mom’s voice in my head…“Just you wait, soon you’ll be touring universities, helping with applications and sending your little lad and lass off to college for their own momentous endeavors.”
Exciting? Yes! Cheap? No!
Education definitely comes with a price tag. Even with my receiving a full scholarship to the University of Rhode Island, I still had to have student loans to cover room and board, books, and so much more of the college experience.
I have to keep reminding myself that time is only going to fly by faster with each year, and that saving for college is something that needs to start right away! But I sometimes get overwhelmed when I think about money, or saving money for the future.
So that’s why I’m so excited to share my conversation about CollegeBoundbaby with Dana Peterson-Fatuda, CollegeBoundbaby Administrator from The Office of the Rhode Island General Treasurer.
I’ve noticed a few ads recently for CollegeBoundbaby. Can you tell me more about that?
CollegeBoundbaby is an enhancement of CollegeBoundfund, the state’s 529 college savings plan, that helps Rhode Island families start saving for expenses at any accredited college, university, vocational or trade school. The savings cover everything from tuition and books to room and board and other higher education expenses.
What is the $100 CollegeBoundbaby grant?
A one-time $100 CollegeBoundbaby grant is available to all children born to or adopted by Rhode Island families. The grant is held and invested by us, The Office of the General Treasurer, in a master account until the child is ready to attend a higher education institution.
Sounds amazing! Tell me, just how easy is the process?
So easy. New parents simply check “yes” on the Birth Worksheet during their hospital visit. We know how crazy the big day at the hospital can be, however, so we also offer parents the opportunity to receive the grant through the CollegeBoundbaby Authorization form before the child’s first birthday or within the first year of adoption. For a copy of the form, parents can call us at: 401-462-7640.
Whew, thank goodness – because I don’t even know if I checked it off or not! So just to clarify, if I call the office and fill out the form before my daughter turns one, she is still eligible for the $100 grant? Would they be able to tell me if I already checked it off?
You bet! Parents have one year from their child’s birth to complete the official CollegeBoundbaby Authorization form if they didn’t check the box at the hospital. And if you’re unsure whether or not you checked the box, just give us a call and we’ll confirm that for you.
How much does the program cost?
Absolutely nothing! Participation in the CollegeBoundbaby program is completely free. There are no fees, charges or hidden costs. Also, the CollegeBoundbaby grant is funded through a partnership with CollegeBoundfund and AllianceBernstein Investments.
$100 is a great start, but can that really help people save for college?
That’s a great question. We’ve looked at research that shows how even a small amount of savings can have an aspirational value and increase academic success. For example, children with a college savings account containing less than $500 were two and half times more likely to enroll and graduate from college than children without college savings. Also, once families “check the box” to receive the CollegeBoundbaby grant, we encourage them to open an individual CollegeBoundfund account where they can continue to save on their own.
I know there are plenty of expectant families (and parents with little ones under the age of one like myself) out there who are interested! Where can they learn more?
Families can learn more at http://www.collegeboundbaby.com or call our office directly at 401-462-7640.