DECATUR, Ill. – State Rep. Sue Scherer, D-Decatur, is encouraging parents of newborns and young children to claim state college savings funds, available through the Illinois First Steps College Savings Program.
“The cost of acquiring a post-secondary education is quickly outpacing the growth in wages, and most people cannot afford to pay for college without going into debt,” said Scherer. “Not many families can afford to set aside huge amounts of money to save for their children’s college, so I want the state to be a partner with families to help them save bit by bit and build their children’s college fund from an early age.”
Scherer is encouraging families to take advantage of the First Steps College Savings Program. The program provides any newborn or adopted child under the age of 10 with a $50 investment towards a 529 college savings plan. Only children born after Jan.1, 2023 and foster children under the age of 10 are eligible for the investment. The offering is just a part of the college savings initiatives offered by the treasurer’s office such as Bright Start and Bright Directions. The program expands on Illinois’ nation-leading college saving plans and addresses the rising costs of attending an institution of higher learning.
In 2019, Scherer voted for House Bill 2237, which established the pathway for the creation of the First Steps College Savings Program.
“I would not be the woman I am today without the college experience I had, and I don’t think it’s fair that for many of our young people it seems out of reach because of costs,” said Scherer. “I am proud of this bold decision to invest in our young people. They truly are the future, and it’s up to us to prepare them for it.”