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 or call 1-800-544-5248. Like ScholarShare on Facebook at 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 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

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