PA Officials Champion College and Career Savings Program with Visit to EASTERN

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WILLOW GROVE, PA — Many families aim to provide their children with the best possible start to adulthood, often including saving for future higher education costs. Today, Treasurer Stacy Garrity and Representatives Nancy Guenst and Melissa Cerrato visited the Eastern Center for Arts & Technology (EASTERN), to promote PA 529 – Pennsylvania’s innovative College and Career Savings Program.

EASTERN, a renowned center for high school students seeking career and technical education, equips students with competitive skills and preparation for postsecondary education. Additionally, it offers the advantage of a dual enrollment program enabling students to earn college credits at no cost.

Treasurer Garrity lauded EASTERN as an invaluable asset for Pennsylvania students, highlighting the center’s alignment with the mission of PA 529. She emphasized, “PA 529 helps families save for future education no matter what career path their children may take.”

Executive Director of EASTERN, Dr. Cathleen Plesnarski, echoed the sentiment, stating that Garrity’s visit underscored the importance of career and technical education and offered students a chance to engage with a community leader.

Supporting education savings takes centerstage each year on 529 Day, with this year’s promotion offering top monetary awards that could cover a full year of tuition at a Pennsylvania community college. Encouraging families to save, Representative Guenst said, “Participating in the 529 Day promotion is a fantastic opportunity to help families save money and ensure their children are well-prepared for their postsecondary education and careers.”

Clarifying upon the program, Representative Cerrato pointed out the significant advantage of the tax-advantaged PA 529 GSP, which allows families to save at today’s tuition rates to meet future needs. Cerrato added, “Your savings are flexible to use, too, as they will always be available for costs at a wide variety of technical schools, colleges and universities, or apprenticeship programs.”

The PA 529 program has proved its worth as an effective tool for families over the past 30 years, offering significant tax benefits on savings that can be used for a plethora of qualifying expenses like tuition, books, room and board, and more.

With the General Assembly’s recent unanimous approval of House Bill 1745, sponsored by Representative Paul Friel, employers could also join the effort by contributing to PA 529 College and Career Savings Program accounts owned by their employees, subsequently receiving a tax credit.

One of the milestones of PA 529 is the Keystone Scholars Program that provides every child born in Pennsylvania after January 1st, 2019 with a $100 savings account. The hope is that this initial deposit will encourage parents to open their own PA 529 accounts and continue saving for their children’s futures.

As the world becomes increasingly complex and competitive, programs like PA 529 provide much-needed support, ensuring that all students, irrespective of their chosen path, have the opportunity to thrive.

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