SC college savings plan offers $5K grant to babies born 5/29 – 5/31

Most pregnant women hope they give birth on time. But this year in South Carolina there’s a lot more riding on a child’s birth date, more than $5,000, in fact.

The State Treasurer’s office is offering grants to women who give birth 5/29/17 through 5/31/17 to raise awareness about the 529 College Savings Plan.

It’s hard enough paying for college when you have 2.5 kids. Naomi and Eric Sparks in Inman have 4 times that.

“He knew that I had 4 kids because I had a picture of myself with my kids. And a couple of questions in he said, well I also have 4 kids, are you will to keep talking to me? And I said, yes, maybe I should be admitted somewhere, but yes we’ll keep talking,” she said with a laugh.

That yes, turned into “I do.”

2-year-old Simeon brought the total number of kids to 9, and he won’t be the youngest for long.

“‘The due date is May 31st,” said Sparks, pointing to her belly.

“I’ve never been on time so this would be a fabulous chance to break my record.”

It sure would.
Thanks to the Future Scholar Palmetto Baby program, any child born in South Carolina this Monday through Wednesday will be eligible for a $5290 dollar grant.

Parents just need to set up a 529 College Savings Account. It’s free with no monthly minimum.

If you think $5,290 is a lot of money, wait till you check out the math. With a 6% return over 18 years, that comes to $15,099 by the time the kid goes to college.

State Treasurer Curtis Loftis estimates more than 300 babies will be eligible this week. But he has three compelling reasons why, even without the grant, setting up a 529 makes sense.

“You get to beat Uncle Sam 3 different times. Contributions made to the plan are tax deductible, the plan grows with investments tax free, you don’t pay capital gains every year. And then for educational expenses it’s tax free.”

The account is even transferable to other kids in the family. Good news for Noah, Anya, Lydia, Steven, Micah, Meredith, Judah, Sheperd and Simian Sparks.

“We’re pretty pumped to hear about it, and so we really hope that the baby’s born on time,” said Eric Sparks.

And his wife added “yes, for many reasons,” with a smile.

Now normally each year only parents who have kids on 5/29 are eligible for a Palmetto Baby grant of $529.

But with the anniversary, that amount jumped quite a bit, and allowed for a few more days to qualify.

Loftis says the grants are funded by private dollars. The state has worked out an arrangement with the investment companies who manage the 529 program as a way of giving back.

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