Nebraskans unsure or even unaware of college savings plans can now go to a website launched by the State Treasurer’s office for help.
State Treasurer Don Stenberg has launched a new online program entitled Nebraska NEST Financial Scholars for Families; phase two of a financial literacy effort promoted by the Treasurer’s office.
NEST stands for Nebraska Educational Savings Trust, a tax sheltered college savings plan offered under section 529 of the Internal Revenue Service code.
Nebraska offers a variety of ways to save for college under four basic plans managed by the State Treasurer’s office.
The problem, according to Stenberg, is that too many Nebraskans know too little about saving for college.
“There’s still a lot of Nebraskans who, number one, don’t even know that the state has a college savings plan,” Stenberg tells reporters during a news conference in his office. “And there are others who are sort of generally vaguely aware of it, but don’t know how it works, don’t know how to get started and that’s really been our outreach efforts.”
Washington-based EverFi developed the program for Nebraska, only the second state the company has worked with to offer a web-based educational program on college savings.
Nebraska Council on Economic Education President Roger Butters says such savings plans make a lot of sense.
“Why a 529 plan and why did I pick it for my children? Well, in my opinion, I think it’s the best way to save for college. Earnings are tax-deferred and tax-free when spent on educational expenditures,” says Butters.
The new program can be accessed through the State Treasurer’s website at treasurer.org.