Press Release, Office of the Governor of the State of Maryland
Funding Exceeds $6.3 Million for 2018
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Maryland 529 today announced that 13,381 eligible applicants for the 2018 Save4College State Contribution Program will receive a $250 or $500 contribution from the state to their Maryland Senator Edward J. Kasemeyer College Investment Plan, also known as Maryland College Investment Plan (MCIP), by the end of the year. State funding for this program will exceed $6.3 million in the current year. Maryland 529 is the administrator of MCIP.
“Our administration is doing everything we can to ensure that all Marylanders have access to a college education, and planning ahead is key to assisting with the high levels of college debt that many of our students face,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Our administration remains committed to providing families with much-needed relief from student loan debt and making college more accessible and affordable.”
Earlier this year, Governor Hogan announced that he will reintroduce the Student Debt Relief Act as emergency legislation during the 2019 session of the Maryland General Assembly, which will allow Marylanders to deduct 100 percent of the interest paid on their student loans from their state income tax return. The legislation would also expand the Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship Program to include four-year Maryland public institutions. Students who qualify for the Promise Scholarship and fulfill the requirements by graduating from community college with an associate’s degree while maintaining at least a 2.5 GPA will receive free tuition for the remaining two years.
Since taking office, Governor Hogan has invested more than $7.1 billion in higher education and has diligently worked with Maryland’s public colleges and universities to cap tuition growth at two percent annually for Maryland residents.
Established in 2016, the Save4College State Contribution Program was designed to help families, especially those from low- and middle-income households, have the opportunity to start saving for college for their children. Income-eligible families who opened a new Maryland College Investment Plan after December 31, 2016, applied during the application period of January 1 and June 1, 2018, and made the minimum contribution will receive a $250 or $500 contribution to their MCIP account from the state.
During the program’s second year of operation, applications for the 2018 State Contribution Program increased by 400 percent from 2017. Of the 16,088 applications received, 13,381 were eligible to receive the contribution, with 11,925 Marylanders receiving $500, and 1,456 receiving $250, for a total of $6,326,500. As funding for the program is limited by the state budget ($3 million for fiscal year 2019), not all eligible applicants were guaranteed to receive a contribution. Recognizing the significant increase in demand and interest by Maryland families wanting to start saving for college, Governor Hogan agreed to increase the State Contribution budget by over $3.3 million to ensure all eligible applicants would receive their contribution this year.
According to the Corporation For Enterprise Development, families that save any amount of money for college – even less than $500 – are three times more likely to enroll a child in college and four times more likely to see that child graduate than families that don’t save anything. Families receiving the state contribution will now be able to get a jump start on college savings.
“We are grateful to Governor Hogan for his support of the State Contribution Program,” said Treasurer Nancy Kopp, Maryland 529 Board Chair. “We are proud of the program’s success and the lasting impact it will have for many Maryland families who otherwise may not have been able to start saving for college.”
To be eligible to apply for the State Contribution Program, the beneficiary must be a Maryland resident; the account holder’s Maryland taxable income cannot exceed $112,500 as an individual or $175,000 as a joint couple based on the previous taxable year; and you must open a Maryland College Investment Plan or have opened an account after December 31, 2016. Account holders are also required to make a minimum contribution to the account of $25, $100, or $250, depending on the account holder’s income bracket. The 2019 application period will open on January 1 and will run through May 31, 2019.
Please visit www.maryland529.com/Save4College to apply or for more information.