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November is 2014 National College Application Month

reach higher

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

Presidential Proclamation National College Application Month

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

With hard work and determination, a great education should be within everyone’s reach. At the heart of America’s promise is the belief that we all deserve an equal opportunity to get ahead, and today more than ever — as we face greater global competition in a knowledge-based economy — a college degree is the surest path to a stable, middle-class life. During National College Application Month, we come together to encourage all students to take control of their own destiny by applying to continue their education beyond high school and to let them know that no matter where they come from or who they are — it does not matter if they are the first in their family to apply to college or if they have been told that they are simply not college material — there is an opportunity for them.

This fall, high school seniors across our Nation are making the decision to invest in their future by earning a post-secondary degree or credential, and as they navigate the college admissions process, my Administration is dedicated to supporting them with the tools and resources they need to succeed. To help more families afford a college degree, we have expanded grants, tax credits, and loans and invested in programs that help students manage and reduce the burdens of debt after they graduate. We created the College Scorecard to make it easier for students and families to compare colleges and find ones that are well-suited to their needs. And to help students better understand the costs of college and more easily compare aid packages offered by different institutions, we developed the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet. To access these and other resources — including College Navigator and a tool that helps determine the net price of any given college — Americans can go to www.WhiteHouse.gov/ReachHigher.

Applying to college is hard work, but it is only the beginning of a journey that requires persistence and focus. A college degree unlocks pathways to opportunity; it prepares today’s students for the jobs of the future and is a requirement for the educated workforce and informed citizenry our country needs to create growth, bolster our economy, and strengthen our democracy. That is why as a Nation, we must lift up our students, help them achieve their greatest potential, and work together toward an important goal: to lead the world in college completion.

This month, we celebrate the limitless possibility within every child. We honor the teachers, school counselors, and parents who help students apply to college. We recognize the institutions that are taking steps to ensure they reach the best and brightest students, regardless of their background, and all those who ensure the next generation is prepared for success, including businesses who open their doors to interns and the alumni, foundations, and faith-based organizations that provide scholarships. Let us remind all students that it is never too early to start planning for their future or reaching for their dreams.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 2014 as National College Application Month. I call upon public officials, educators, parents, students, and all Americans to observe this month with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs designed to encourage students to make plans for and apply to college.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.

BARACK OBAMA

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California GEAR UP Hosts Regional Leadership Events

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CALIFORNIA GEAR UP “Round-Up” in Riverside, CA

Developed to meet the diverse and complex needs of California GEAR UP middle schools, the 2014 Regional Leadership Events provided a forum for school teams to problem solve together and learn from each other about school practices, challenges and solutions.  The events were facilitated by Whole School Services Coaches with content designed to respond to the needs of each unique middle school community. Activities were customized to engage and support participating schools within each region aligned with target areas of growth identified in the School Self Assessment Rubric.

Goals of the Regional Leadership Events:

  • Develop and expand working, cohesive school teams;
  • Share and reflect on leadership and approaches for developing leadership;
  • Network to share smart practices and opportunities for continued regional work;
  • Reflect on progress in building a sustainable college-going culture using the SSAR;
  • Use data to identify and address challenges to access and equity for All students;
  • Develop implementation plans for of GEAR UP partner resources and services;
  • Complete the PDAP and Communication Plan.

 The North State Regional Collaborative hosted at the Tehama County Department of Education in Red Bluff offered leadership teams from GEAR UP middle schools and their feeder high schools a unique opportunity for vertical teaming and articulation.  Participants gained a renewed sense of, and commitment to, vertical teaming as a successful strategy to improve student achievement and access to multiple educational pathways. This event offers great promise for the future of the region as many school practitioners had been operating in isolation without direct interaction and planning with their lower and upper grade counterparts.

 Brad Trimble-California GEAR UP School Services Coach

 

Big takeaways: The exchange of ideas, events, projects, etc. as a result of the “reflecting on the past” exercise has been mentioned a number of times.  One (GEAR UP) site contact returned to school and, using her notes, immediately drafted a memo of implementation listing ideas to share with the rest of her staff.  The group-alike breakout sessions gave teachers, administrators, counselors and out of classroom advisers a chance to share job specific experiences in building a college-going culture.  The regional event provided an opportunity for participants to work collaboratively and function as a learning community.

 Jon Sides-California GEAR UP School Services Coach

 

Low-income students often have the greatest need for opportunities to make sense of their world and develop intellectual autonomy.  Without these experiences it can be challenging for them to articulate their needs and views.  Accordingly, it was a pleasure working alongside educators as part of GEAR UP’s early college access program so that we can rally around this common goal.  They were passionate about this need for equity and work hard every day to make it happen.

 Robert Kaplinsky-Featured Speaker

 

The mission of California GEAR UP is to develop and sustain the organizational capacity of middle schools to prepare all students for high school and higher education through a statewide network of support for adults who influence middle school students, specifically their counselors, faculty, school leaders and families. As a result of this expanded capacity, a higher proportion of students, particularly from backgrounds and communities that have not historically pursued a college education, will enroll and succeed in higher education. California GEAR UP is a program of the University of California Office of The President Education Partnerships department and has served whole school communities across the state since 1999.

 

Learn more on the California GEAR UP website and follow on Twitter and Facebook.

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CaliforniaColleges.edu Launches Mobile App

CCGI logo

CCGI’s mobile app, College Guide, is available on the Apple and Google Play App Stores.

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College Guide provides high school students (10th, 11th, and 12th), their parents, and their counselors with:

  • A project management tool to navigate and track all the important goals
    related to college and financial aid planning.
  • A thorough task list that users can mark as completed, add to their calendar, and share via social networks.
  • Push notifications about key deadlines and important tips in the college planning and application process.
  • Links to relevant web resources both on the CaliforniaColleges.edu portal and beyond.

How students can use College Guide:

  • Use “My Tasks” to view tasks chronologically. Review and complete college and financial aid planning tasks in order of what is due next!
  • Watch your progress by category using “My Progress.” The progress bar keeps you on track!
  • Customize which tasks you see on your task list by updating your college aspirations in “Settings.”
  • Access online resources either on CaliforniaColleges.edu or other trusted websites.
  • Share deadlines and tips with your friends via Facebook and Twitter.

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How parents can use College Guide:

  • Use the app with the user profile “Parents” and get messaging specific to you!
  • Support your students’ efforts by reviewing and completing college and financial aid planning tasks!
  • Receive messaging for multiple grade levels if you have more than one child in high school.
  • Access online resources either on CaliforniaColleges.edu or other trusted websites.
  • Use the “Glossary” and “Frequently Asked Questions” as you go!

How counselors can use College Guide:

  • Use the app with the user profile “Counselors,” and get push notifications specific to you!
  • You will see the exact same messaging as your students, so you can shadow their goals and tasks.
  • Select each of the grade levels you work with (10th, 11th, and 12th) and toggle back and forth to see the goals and tasks for each grade.

For help using our tools, contact our customer support team at support@californiacolleges.org.

– See more at: https://secure.californiacolleges.edu/home/college_guide.aspx#sthash.xqiPnKp0.dpuf

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New Edendale Middle School College Bulletin Boards

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College Bulletin Boards -Edendale Middle School

The creation of our feeder collegiate bulletin board is a direct outgrowth of my attendance at the BARLI conference at Mills College, Oakland, CA. There was a board featuring a program at Mills College and I said why not have our own board featuring our feeder colleges and universities here in the Bay Area monthly? The names and cities where they are located are close and familiar to our students and their families already. Places they can actually visit and attend events to get familiar with the campuses and their staff. It also a means of planting seeds of encouragement and confidence in them. On Wednesday’s there is an element highlighted on the college featured this month during our morning announcements.

We are expanding on this idea as well with the creation of a “College Corner” located in our library featuring books to further their interest and exploration of a featured or other school. We also have another board dedicated to general information on “Thinking College” in our entry hallway. We are making the dream of a college education a reality that is accessible; by connecting them, informing and allowing them to visualize their own college experience.

Special thanks to our guest blogger Gina Lewis from Edendale Middle School. Gina is the community liaison and member of the GEAR UP leadership team.

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North State Regional Collaborative-Tehama County

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PURPOSE:  The purpose of the California GEAR UP 2014 Regional Events is to develop regional support networks that provide opportunities for schools to learn from each other and problem solve together about common concerns and issues.  These events will be facilitated by Whole School Services Coaches with content based on advice from School Leadership Team members.  The events are customized to meet the needs of participating schools within each region and in alignment with target areas of growth identified in the GEAR UP School Self Assessment Rubric.

NORTH STATE REGIONAL COLLABORATIVE – DRAFT AGENDA

Tehama County Department of Education – October 15 & 16, 2014 

Guiding Question: How do we better support and engage our students as they transition from middle to high school?

Wednesday, October 15 Participants:

Berrendos, Happy Valley, Richfield, Shasta Lake, & Vista Prep.

7:30 Breakfast
8:008:15

 

 

 

10:30

 

10:45

 

11:00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12:00

 

1:00

 

2:45

 

3:00

 

 

Introductions & Agenda Brandon Santiago – Youth Speaks

  • Student engagement – Word Becomes Flesh with The Living Word Project.

 

Break

 

Vista Preparatory Academy Video

 

Presentation from Vista Preparatory Academy Covering Their Transition from Departments to Instructional Houses

 

  • Why were instructional houses implemented at Vista?
  • What have been the successes and challenges within this model?
  • How has this structure affected student behavior, school climate, and academic achievement?

 

Lunch

 

School Site Planning & Collaboration

 

  • Complete 2014-2015 Professional Development Action Plan
  • Complete 2014-2015 Communications Plan

 

Reflective Group Discussion

 

 

Conclusion & Charge for Thursday

 

 

 

 

NORTH STATE REGIONAL COLLABORATIVE – DRAFT AGENDA

Tehama County Department of Education – October 15 & 16, 2014

Guiding Question: How do we better support and engage our students as they transition from middle to high school?

Thursday, October 16 Participants: Berrendos, Central Valley, Corning, Happy Valley, Maywood, Red Bluff, Richfield, Shasta Lake, Vista Prep., & West Valley

7:30 Breakfast
8:008:30

 

 

 

9:30

 

9:45

 

 

 

 

10:45

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12:00

 

1:00

 

 

 

 

 

 

1:45

 

 

 

2:30

 

2:45

 

3:00

 

 Introductions & Agenda  Mark Cerutti – Associate Superintendent, Elk Grove Unified School District

 

  • Vertical teaming and regional work, a systems perspective.

 

Break

 

CaliforniaColleges.edu – California College Guidance Initiative

 

  • Curriculum and guidance solutions to produce college and career ready graduates.

 

Facilitated Breakout Sessions

 

  • Middle & high school leadership teams introduced to the Articulation Action Agreement.
  • Leadership teams meet within feeder patterns to discuss how systems might be built or improved.
  • Initial consensus building and brainstorming opportunity.

 

Lunch

 

Role-alike Breakout Sessions

 

  • Administration, Counselors, ELA, ELL, History/Social Science, Math, Science, and Special Education meet individually to further define their area-specific vertical teaming agenda and complete their components of the Articulation Action Agreement.

 

School Site Leadership Teams Convene

 

  • Complete 2014-2015 Articulation Action Agreement

 

Reflective Group Discussion

 

Schools Share Articulation Action Agreements for 2014-2015

 

Conclude

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The California Central Valley GEAR UP GET DOWN

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PURPOSE:  The purpose of the California GEAR UP 2014 Regional Events is to develop regional support networks that provide opportunities for schools to learn from each other and problem solve together about common concerns and issues.  These events will be facilitated by Whole School Services Coaches with content based on advice from School Leadership Team members.  The events are customized to meet the needs of participating schools within each region and in alignment with target areas of growth identified in the GEAR UP School Self Assessment Rubric.

The California Central Valley

GEAR UP GET DOWN

October 1, 2014

 AGENDA

 Theme: Developing the “why?” in leadership and cohesive teams to influence school change at GEAR UP school sites

Outcomes:    

  • Develop working cohesive school teams
  • Learn the tenets of cohesive teams and why they are important
  • Increase ability to influence others and the capacity to effect change
  • Share and reflect on leadership and approaches for developing leadership within the team
  • Network to share smart practices and build opportunities for additional regional work 

7:30 – 8:30 a.m.           Breakfast and Registration

                                    Lobby of UC Merced Extension Office, Fresno, CA

8:30 – 8:45 a.m.         Welcome

                                   Martin De Mucha Flores

8:45 – 9:15 a.m.           Morning Plenary Speaker

                                    Encarnacion Ruiz, UC Merced Director of Admissions

9:30 – 10:45 a.m.         Workshop Session I

  • The Dynamic and Cohesive Team
  • Leadership & Management – Why They Are Not Synonymous
  • An Equity Lens: Critical Literacy in Our Professional and Personal Development

 11:00 – 12:15 p.m.      Workshop Session II

  • The Dynamic and Cohesive Team
  • Leadership & Management – Why They Are Not Synonymous
  • An Equity Lens: Critical Literacy in Our Professional and Personal Development

 12:15 – 1:00 p.m.        Lunch   

1:10 – 2:20 p.m.         Workshop Session III

  • The Dynamic and Cohesive Team
  • Leadership & Management – Why They Are Not Synonymous
  • An Equity Lens: Critical Literacy in Our Professional and Personal

2:30 – 3:15 p.m.          Afternoon Plenary

                                    Raul Morreno, Coordinator, University Migrant Services

3:15 – 3:30 p.m.          Evaluations

 

“We don’t say good luck, we say never give up.” Anonymous

GEAR UP Fall Round-up in Riverside


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PURPOSE:  The purpose of the California GEAR UP 2014 Regional Events is to develop regional support networks that provide opportunities for schools to learn from each other and problem solve together about common concerns and issues.  These events will be facilitated by Whole School Services Coaches with content based on advice from School Leadership Team members.  The events are customized to meet the needs of participating schools within each region and in alignment with target areas of growth identified in the GEAR UP School Self Assessment Rubric.

GEAR UP Fall Round-up in Riverside Regional Institute

September 30, 2014

AGENDA

Outcomes:

  • Reflect on progress in building a sustainable college-going culture using the SSAR and sharing best practices
  • Use data to identify and address challenges encountered
  • Collaborate and network to explore access and equity with fresh eyes
  • Plan the implementation of GEAR UP partner resources
  • Complete the PDAP and Communication Plans

8:00 a.m.        Breakfast, Registration, Networking

9:00 a.m.        GEAR UP Leadership Teams Share Progress

Discuss and Chart:

  • Are you reaching all student groups?
  • How do you know?
  • What resources have been successful?
  • What obstacles have you encountered?

 10:00 a.m.       View TED Talk by Simon Sinek, Start with Why

  • 10 minute quick write
  • Be ready to share

11:00 a.m.      Job-Alike Group Discussions

12:00 p.m.     Lunch

1:00 p.m.       What are Transitory Change and Permanent Change?

How embedded are GEAR UP/ SSAR conditions in the whole school?

1:30 p.m.        GEAR UP Budgeting Expectations

  • Complete PDAP
    • Start from “why”
    • Where will resources be most effective?
  • Communication Plan

3:00 p.m.       Evaluation of Round-up       

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Partner Spotlight: Coalition for Educational Partnerships

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About CEP: Mission and Belief

Founded in 2003, the Coalition for Educational Partnerships (CEP) is a non-profit organization driven by a belief in educational access and equity for all students. CEP’s mission is to promote educational equity by assisting schools, educators, families and community-based organizations to engage in practices that enable all children to reach their highest potential and increase their readiness for post-secondary higher education.

Our experience suggests that deep and lasting organizational change requires collective effort, time and commitment towards embracing different ways of seeing, being and doing. CEP assists our partner clients with creating a culture of inquiry, reflection and responsiveness that supports academic teaching and learning. Our services are designed to help administrators, teachers and school leaders to institutionalize systems and processes for reaching their goals. When students, educators and families have the tools to embrace new learning with calm and confidence, skills are developed, knowledge is deepened and achievement soars.

Approach to Family and Community Engagement

CEP’s Family and Community Engagement Services are founded on a culturally-relevant and responsive model for building and sustaining a collaborative and holistic college-going student support system. Our Family and Community Engagement Services are designed to:

  • Recognize, value and build upon the social capital and currency of families and communities
  • Foster the building of family learning and knowledge within the context of understanding school and community culture
  • Facilitate stronger connection and collaboration between schools, families and communities

CEP’s training curriculum is focused on equipping families with the knowledge, skills and tools to assist their students with being academically ready and prepared to pursue post-secondary education at the college and university level. Through our facilitation and technical assistance, we work with schools to establish systems and structures for building and sustaining impactful school, family and community partnerships.

The result of our continuing collaborative efforts with educators, families, and community partners provides students with assurance that the adults in their lives are truly committed to ensuring that students achieve their potential for academic success.

GEARING UP FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL AND BEYOND

Many families don’t realize that college preparation begins before a student first sets foot in school and that the preparation continues through elementary, middle and high school. Numerous studies have shown that a student’s academic performance before high school will determine whether a student is prepared to go onto and succeed in college and career. In particular, students who demonstrate motivation, engagement and self-discipline in middle school are more likely to be successful in high school, college and career (The Forgotten Middle: Ensuring That All Students Are On Target For College and Career Readiness Before High School-ACT 2008)

CEP’s Families United for Student Success (F.U.S.S.) partnership with California GEAR UP enables us to reach families at a critical juncture in their student’s social and academic development. This is the time for all partners to come together with families to:

  • Help students connect their studies to their future goals
  • Engage students in relevant and dynamic learning opportunities in and out of school
  • Ensure that students receive rigorous instruction that prepares them for college and career
  • Set students on a clear academic and course-taking path into college

Through the F.U.S.S. partnership, CEP works with schools to expand their capacity to support and promote authentic parent, family and community involvement and engagement. Partnership Services include:

  • GEAR UP Family Engagement Support Services
  • Families United for Student Success College Prep Curriculum
  • Common Core Saturday Camp
  • GEAR UP College and Career Community Festival

For more information, check out Brochure of CEP GEAR UP Services.

CEP’s Passion For Education

The Coalition for Educational Partnerships knows that school can be transformational and that education opens up worlds of possibilities. We all have the responsibility to create every opportunity for all students to succeed—while they are only 20% of our population, they represent 100% of our future. We believe that children are our greatest investment and are committed to doing our part to realize the greatest returns.

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Bay Area Regional Leadership Institute Oct 7-8, 2014

The intention of this event is to bring Bay Area GEARUP schools together for two days of professional development, learning and exchange of ideas to build greater communication, collaboration and success towards building a College Going Culture at each of your schools this year.

Date: Tuesday and Wednesday, October 7th & 8th 7:30am – 4:00pm

Location: Mills College – Carnegie Hall, Oakland 

Theme: “Achieving Social Justice and Equity through Common Core strategies to Ignite Student Success”

Outcomes:

  • Deepening our understanding and facilitation of Common Core Strategies
  • Enhancing communications between Gear Up Schools, Partners and Community Based Organizations
  • Best practices and learning from each other – Role Alike conversations
  • Shared Parent engagement strategies for greater success
  • Sharing strategies for fostering a positive school culture that facilitates learning
  • Focused time to work on and your Professional Development Action Plan (PDAP)

Day 1

7:30-8:00 a.m. Breakfast and Registration

8:00-12:00 p.m.         Morning Session

        • Welcome, Introductions of the team, schools and GEAR UP partners
        • Expectations and ground rules and agreements for the 2 days
        • Keynote speaker –Social Justice and Transformative School Leadership topic
        • Open Space overview and setting our agenda together
        • 2, one-hour breakout sessions in the morning with multiple tracks each depending on the topics raised by participants.

12:00-12:45 p.m.          Lunch    

1:00-3:30 p.m.            Afternoon Session

  • 2, 45-minute break out sessions in the afternoon with multiple tracks each depending on the topics raised by participants

3:30-4:00 p.m.         Day’s Recap and Highlights/Evaluation

Day 2

7:30-8:00 a.m. Breakfast and Registration

8:00-12:00 p.m.         Morning Session

        • Overview of the day and topics available for discussion
        • Group exercise: What’s Your Why?
        • Role-Alike breakout discussions
        • 2, one-hour break out sessions in the morning with multiple tracks each depending on the topics raised by participants

12:00-12:45 p.m.          Lunch    

 12:45-1:00 p.m.            Inspiration Youth Speaks Artist to perform spoken word

1:00-4:00 p.m.             Afternoon Session

  • Regroup with your teams for a group debrief of ah-ha’s, best ideas and practices learned
  • Take what you’ve learned from the sessions your team members have attended and incorporate that into your PDAP for the year. Discussion and planning time for creating their PDAP so it’s completed when they walk out the door.
  • Evaluations

Potential topics for the breakout sessions over both days Could include

(but are not limited to):

  • Role-alike best practices
  • Parent engagement strategies
  • Valuable resources for undocumented students/families
  • Community school best practices
  • Successful common core strategies
  • Fostering a positive school culture
  • Creating strong partnerships with Community Based Organizations
  • Getting the most bang for our buck – working with the GU partners [MDTP, CEP, CaliforniaColleges.edu, PIQE, AAREA]
  • Effective leadership strategies

Holiday Planning: ScholarShare 529 College Savings Plan

 

The ScholarShare College Savings Plan is California’s official 529 plan and a key partner of California GEAR UP. It offers a tax-advantaged way for families to save for the cost of a college education. ScholarShare seeks to serve as a resource for all Californians looking to save for college.

The holiday season is nearly upon us, and with it, the quest for a perfect gift. Your holiday shopping list may be full of the latest toys and gadgets. But remember, you can’t beat a gift that could mean a brighter future for your child. So make a gift contribution or open a new ScholarShare 529 College Savings account for that special child in your life. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, even friends of the family can also open an account or contribute to that special holiday gift that keeps on giving.

ScholarShare is proud to partner with GEAR-UP to increase the number of students who are prepared to enter and succeed in college.

According to a 2012 survey by Hart Research Associates, 84 percent of parents consider it “very important” that their children attend college, but not many have started saving. ScholarShare, named one of the nine best 529 plans in the nation by Morningstar, a prominent ratings agency, is administered by the State of California and managed by TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. Named for the section of the Internal Revenue Code under which they were created, 529 plans offer families a tax-advantaged way to save for college.

Some of the benefits of the ScholarShare plan include:

  • Accounts can be opened with as little as $25.
  • A wide variety of low-cost investment options are offered.
  • There are no annual account maintenance fees.
  • Potential earnings are tax-free if used for qualified higher education expenses such as tuition and fees, books and supplies, and certain room and board costs.
  • Funds may be used at eligible educational institutions nationwide, and some abroad.
  • Anyone can contribute to the account, making it a great gift idea for family and friends.

To learn more or to open an account, visit www.scholarshare.com or call 1-800-544-5248. Like ScholarShare on Facebook at www.facebook.com/scholarshare529 and follow us on Twitter at @ScholarShare529.

Preparing for college academically and financially can help keep students on the path toward success.

Consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses before investing in the ScholarShare 529 College Savings Plan. Please visit www.scholarshare.com for a Program Disclosure Booklet containing this and other information. Read it carefully.

Before investing in a 529 plan, you should consider whether the state you or your Beneficiary reside in or have taxable income in has a 529 plan that offers favorable state income tax or other benefits that are only available if you invest in that state’s 529 plan.

The tax information contained herein is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties. Taxpayers should seek advice based on their own particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor. Non-qualified withdrawals may be subject to federal and state taxes and the additional federal 10% tax. Non-qualified withdrawals may also be subject to an additional 2.5% California tax on earnings.

Investments in the Program are neither insured nor guaranteed and there is the risk of investment loss.

 The ScholarShare 529 College Savings Plan Twitter and Facebook pages are managed by the State of California.

 TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc., Plan Manager