Cuyahoga County Launches College Savings Program

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CLEVELAND – We all know college can get expensive, and now, Cuyahoga County is hoping to help with that.

They’re opening college savings accounts for the kindergarten class of 2013-2014.

“By inspiring five-year-old’s to become college graduates, you have truly identified the most influential way to improve children’s self-worth and their confidence,” said parent Lucia Johnson.

Johnson was among several to speak about the new college savings account program at a press conference on Tuesday. She’s a mother of two and thinks it’s going to make a big difference.

“I came from Cleveland public schools and there wasn’t a college savings waiting for me, so for me as a parent, we all want to provide something more to our children and give them more than we had for ourselves,” she said.

The county isn’t just opening an account for every student. They’re also depositing $100 into each one. The goal is for parents to continue adding to that amount.

“We’re talking about a program that costs less than $3 million dollars in an almost
$1.5 billion dollar budget. It’s a very much a worthy investment,” said Cuyahoga County Executive Ed Fitzgerald, who was also at the press conference.

He said they spent a lot of time sorting out the details and securing the funding they needed for this program.

The accounts will be managed by KeyBank, who will offer a variety of courses for parents on saving for college and one-on-one counseling.

Parents can deposit however much they’d like and can opt out if they choose.

While the program is starting with the 2013-2014 kindergarten class, the goal is to continue opening accounts for future kindergarten classes.

The county is sending more information to parents in the next few weeks.

To learn more about the program, click here.

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