Treasurer of State Dennis Milligan announced that his office and the state Department of Human Services’ Division of Children and Family Services have joined forces to provide access to college investing plans to children in foster care. As a result of this partnership, foster parents can now open an Arkansas 529 account for any children in their care.
The state of Arkansas will retain ownership of the college account while the child is in the foster care system. Once a child leaves the foster care system, the account will be turned over to his/her parents or to the child once he/she is 18 years old.
An Arkansas 529 college investment account is a “tax-deferred college savings account that students can use at any two- or four-year college, university, technical school or vocational school in the country,” according to a press release from the Treasurer of State’s office.
This initiative is designed to increase the number of Arkansas children who attend and have the opportunity to attend college. The Treasurer of State’s office cites a 2011 Center for Social Development (Washington University in St. Louis) study, which found that individuals with college savings are six times for likely to attend college than individuals with no savings.
To learn more about Arkansas 529 accounts, visit www.arkansas529.org or call the treasurer’s office at 501-682-1406.