Parents of Nevada kindergartners who attend public school are automatically entitled to $50 and a savings account for their child’s education after high school.
The Nevada College Kick Start program, offered by the Nevada State Treasurer’s Office, creates a qualified savings account for every public school kindergarten in the state. A $50 bursary is offered at no cost to taxpayers and is intended to help families save for their child’s post-secondary education, whether college or trade school.
The program began in 2013 and was intended to provide every public school kindergarten with a small head start in saving for college, Nevada State Treasurer Zach Conine said.
Conine said the state has opened about 277,000 Kick Start accounts, some of which remain unclaimed.
“We create them for every public school kindergarten so that whenever they’re ready, we’re ready,” he said.
The program automatically enrolls each Nevada public school kindergarten into a 529 plan or tax-advantaged savings account that must be used for eligible education expenses.
The state will open the account for kindergartners whether they claim it or not. Students have until the end of the fourth year to claim it, according to Conine, during which time the $50, even if untouched, will continue to earn interest.
“It gives us the opportunity to start this conversation about how this family can plan, save or pay for higher education,” Conine said.
Parents who wish to claim their child’s Kick Start account can visit the Nevada College Kick Start website to search for their child’s Kick Start ID number. Parents who need help finding their child’s ID number can also call 702-486-4141.
Parents can then claim their child’s account by registering at www.vistashare.com/p/nv/kickstart.
Conine said any program that helps students achieve their higher education goals is also good for the state.
“Regardless of the type of high school diploma, they are more likely to be able to keep their job during the recession, they are more likely not to be laid off during the pandemic, they are more likely to be able to afford a home and afford to live the kind of life they deserve,” he said. “Anything we can do to get closer to his goal is a good use of our time.”
“It’s a great example of government work.”
Contact Lorraine Longhi at [email protected] Follow @lolonghi on Twitter.