VSAC to open college savings accounts for babies born on ‘529 Day’

May 9th, 2016

Every baby born at a VT hospital May 29 to receive a $100 VHEIP account

WINOOSKI (May 9, 2016) – Each baby born at a Vermont hospital on May 29 this year will receive a $100 deposit into a Vermont 529 college savings account opened in his or her name by the Vermont Student Assistance Corp.

The Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems is joining VSAC, which administers Vermont’s 529 college savings plan, to help educate Vermont families about saving for college for their children.

“Vermont’s hospitals congratulate all the families who have welcomed a new addition today,” said Thomas Dee, chairman of the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems Board. “We are proud to work with VSAC again this year. Connecting Vermont families with resources for the future is an exciting way we can help enable Vermonters to live healthy, successful lives long after they leave the hospital.”

A 529 plan is an education savings plan operated by a state or educational institution designed to help families set aside funds for future college costs. It is named after Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, which created these types of savings plans in 1996.

Research shows that children with college savings are three times more likely to attend college and four times more likely to graduate than children with no college savings.

“College savings accounts are clearly a powerful tool,” said Scott Giles, president and CEO of VSAC. “We want to encourage parents to open a VHEIP account and get started early to save for college. The ideal time to begin saving is between birth and age 5 in order to allow your investment to build over time.”

Also, parents of newborns can encourage family and friends to contribute to their child’s VHEIP account through e-gifting. “Family and friends can make significant contributions to a child’s college savings account over time through birthday, holiday and graduation gifts,” Giles said. E-gifting makes it easy to contribute to a VHEIP account online and the valuable gift will last a lifetime.

About VSAC – Changing Lives through Education and Training since 1965

Vermont Student Assistance Corporation is a public, nonprofit agency established by the Vermont Legislature in 1965 to help Vermonters achieve their education and training goals after high school. VSAC serves students and their families in grades 7-12, as well as adults returning to school, by providing education and career planning services, need-based grants, scholarships and education loans. VSAC has awarded more than $600 million in grants and scholarships for Vermont students, and also administers Vermont’s 529 college savings plan. Share your VSAC story by email to [email protected] or submit a video to YouTube. Find us at www.vsac.org or check in on Facebook and Twitter. #changing lives

About VAHHS

VAHHS is a member-owned organization devoted to improving the health status of communities throughout Vermont. Its activities include advocacy, policy development, education and research. VAHHS works in partnership with dozens of Vermont health care organizations on a wide variety of issues, providing educational and research services for members and non-members alike. VAHHS supports coordination of our members’ health care services with other health or social service organizations. For more information, visit www.vahhs.org.

VSAC, Agency of Education, VocRehab to Host Annual Transition and Career Planning Conference

May 5th, 2016

BARRE – A unique mix of education and vocational professionals from all over the state will meet on May 11 at the Lake Morey Resort and Conference Center in Fairlee, Vermont, in an effort to better understand how to better prepare Vermont students to launch into meaningful careers of their choice.

The 2016 Annual Transition and Career Planning Conference is a collaborative event lead by the Vermont Agency of Education, the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation and VocRehab.

Rather than have a traditional keynote speaker at this year’s conference, the planning team has received video stories from Vermont students. Students will share the narrative around what has helped them on their path toward graduation and gaining insight, advice, and experience toward a career. The team hosted a statewide search for students who wanted to share their own story. This keynote project is designed to inspire education professionals and help them find ways to improve their support to students in their pathway toward a career.

The event, now in its 5th year, supports inclusion for all students. An estimated 300 principals, school counselors, teachers, special educators, career and technical center staff, VocRehab transition and young adult counselors, employment specialists and many more student champions are expected to attend.

The theme this year is “Your Story, Your Path: How Our Stories Shape Our Direction.” The conference committee believes the act of storytelling can be a powerful experience that can inform and improve the flexible education pathways outlined in students Personalized Learning Plans (PLPs).

For more information on the Career Planning Conference visit, http://services.vsac.org/wps/wcm/connect/vsac/VSAC/General/Calendar+of+Events/Events+for+Education+Professionals/Career+Planning+Conference

Connect with the Vermont Agency of Education on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

 

Norwich and VSAC team up on science and technology scholarships for Vermont students

May 4th, 2016

~Program aims to open up technical degrees to more Vermont students and encourage them to remain in state after graduation.~

 NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Norwich University is partnering with the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC) to offer science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) scholarships for qualified Vermont students beginning this fall.

Students identified by school representatives, including VSAC GEAR UP and Talent Search representatives within each high school, will be eligible to apply for this premier scholarship, which ranges from $25,000-$30,000 a year for each of four years.

Norwich University will award up to 30 STEM scholarships annually to qualified students. Students will also have access to need-based financial aid that can supplement scholarship awards.

The program and partnership with VSAC is designed to increase college enrollment for Vermont students. While Vermont has one of the highest high school graduation rates at 87.8 percent, postsecondary enrollment is reported as some of the lowest in the country at approximately 60 percent.

“The statistics show that the students who do not attain postsecondary education fall heavily into the lower-income, first-generation group,” Norwich University Vice President for Enrollment Management Greg Matthews said. “I think the reason these students do not attain is that colleges and universities haven’t provided the guidance and financial support required.

“VSAC as a partner is in all of the high schools with GEAR UP and Talent Search counselors. They are serving to introduce Norwich, assist with students visiting Norwich, and helping those students to access other resources afterward, while they are competing for STEM scholarships. Ideally, these students will go to Norwich, receive funding to afford Norwich, and get good-paying jobs in the high tech industries in Vermont so that Vermont is better positioned to retain its young talent.”

“Norwich University is really stepping up to address not only the issue of making a university education accessible to Vermonters but also of creating the paths to keeping highly technical and educated Vermonters in state,” VSAC President and CEO Scott Giles said.

In order to qualify, students must apply and be accepted to Norwich University in one of the following majors: Engineering (Civil, Construction Management, Electrical and Computer or Mechanical); Architecture (with a Master’s option that leads to licensure); Computer Security and Information Assurance; Computer Science; Biological Sciences (Biology, Exercise Science, Biochemistry); Chemistry; Physics or Mathematics.

Ninety-six percent of recent graduates from these majors have gone onto graduate school, employment or military service within eight months of graduation.

“Our graduates from these programs are leading satisfying and successful careers,” Matthews said.

Norwich was one of the first colleges in the country to teach engineering and boasts a world-class cybersecurity education program. The Norwich School of Architecture + Art is the only accredited architecture school in northern New England, and undergraduate research in the sciences and across disciplines has grown rapidly in the past 10 years.

In addition to being admitted to Norwich University, students will need to:

  • Complete the Norwich/VSAC scholarship application.
  • Visit Norwich University as part of a VSAC organized visit or by arrangement with the Norwich University Admission office.
  • Interview with a Norwich STEM Scholarship Representative.

GPA requirements for these scholarships begin at 3.3 on a 4.0 point scale, but exceptions may be made for students who are on an upward trend and are recommended by their Guidance Counselors, VSAC Counselors, Gear Up Counselors, or Talent Search Counselors.

“We are especially interested in students who like to learn while doing because of Norwich University’s highly interactive and experiential learning environment,” Matthews said.

For more information contact: VP for Enrollment Management Greg Matthews at 802-485-2741 or [email protected] or Director of Student Financial Planning Martin Daniels at [email protected].

˜Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation’s six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). www.norwich.edu

In fulfillment of Norwich’s mission to train and educate today’s students to be tomorrow’s global leaders and captains of industry, the Forging the Future campaign is committed to creating the best possible learning environment through state-of-the-art academics and world-class facilities. Norwich University will celebrate its bicentennial in 2019. Learn more about the campaign and how to participate in the “Year of Transformation” here: bicentennial.norwich.edu.    

Celebrate 529 Day with us!

May 3rd, 2016

Join VHEIP, Vermont Lake Monsters & Burlington Moms Blog to kick off a summer of fun and college savings

 

BURLINGTON, (May 3, 2016) – Vermont Student Assistance Corp., Vermont’s voice for students as they pursue higher education, is making the month of May one big, happy Vermont 529 Day.

Vermont 529 Day is May 29 (get it?), named for 529 college savings plans that help families plan and pay for college. In Vermont, the Vermont Higher Education Investment Plan has nearly 17,000 accounts worth over $270 million – all of which goes to pay for training and education after high school. In fact, since 1999, 4,700 students have used over $115 million from the plan to pay their education expenses.

VSAC, which administers the plan, has teamed up with the Vermont Lake Monsters and Burlington Moms Blog to encourage college savings. All month in May, people can enter to win $529 in a VHEIP college savings account.

And at every home Lake Monsters game, one lucky kid will be chosen to see how fast he or she can pitch and that’s how much will go into a VHEIP account. If the pitch is 100 mph, $100 goes into college savings.

And every kid who joins CHAMP’s Kids Club will be entered to win $100 in a VHEIP account – when they come out to the ballpark on Kids Club days. They also can pick up their own pink piggy bank.

And, speaking of kids, VSAC is joining with the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, to give a $100 college savings account to every baby born on May 29!

These efforts are a great start to planning for college. All Vermonters will need some form of education or training after high school to be qualified for Vermont’s future jobs.  And, research shows that students from families who save even a small amount (less than $500) for education are three times more likely to go and four times more likely to graduate.

 

About VSAC – Changing Lives through Education and Training since 1965

Vermont Student Assistance Corporation is a public, nonprofit agency established by the Vermont Legislature in 1965 to help Vermonters achieve their education and training goals after high school. VSAC serves students and their families in grades 7-12, as well as adults returning to school, by providing education and career planning services, need-based grants, scholarships and education loans. VSAC has awarded more than $600 million in grants and scholarships for Vermont students, and also administers Vermont’s 529 college savings plan. Share your VSAC story by email to [email protected] or submit a video to YouTube. Find us at www.vsac.org or check in on Facebook and Twitter. #changing lives

 

About VHEIP

The Vermont Higher Education Investment Plan, a 529 college savings plan, was established in 1999 and is Vermont’s only state-sponsored 529 plan and as such the only 529 plan eligible for the Vermont income tax credit on contributions. VHEIP is administered by the Vermont Student Assistance Corp. and managed by Intuition College Savings Solutions. For more information about setting up a VHEIP account, visit www.vheip.orgor call the customer service center at (800) 637-5860.

Celebrate College Signing Day with VSAC!

April 15th, 2016

Share your school decision with #ReachHigherVT for a chance at $50

 

WINOOSKI (April 15, 2016) – The big day is almost here. We’re talking national College Signing Day on April 26.

It’s the day for most seniors to let the school know they plan to attend. Vermont Student Assistance Corp. is joining Reach Higher, the nationwide celebration started by First Lady Michelle Obama to encourage students to pursue and complete their education.

VSAC invites high school seniors and families to share their decisions with us for a chance at one of four $50 Amazon gift cards.

Now until April 26, post a selfie on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter telling us where you’re going along with the hashtags #ReachHigherVT and #vsac. You can check out which schools other seniors have chosen, too!

The J. Warren & Lois McClure Foundation, a supporting organization of the Vermont Community Foundation, joins VSAC in supporting #ReachHigherVT as a celebration of Vermont students’ commitment to further their education beyond high school.

Congratulations seniors. We’re rooting for you!

About VSAC – Changing Lives through Education and Training since 1965

Vermont Student Assistance Corporation is a public, nonprofit agency established by the Vermont Legislature in 1965 to help Vermonters achieve their education and training goals after high school. VSAC serves students and their families in grades 7-12, as well as adults returning to school, by providing education and career planning services, need-based grants, scholarships and education loans. VSAC has awarded more than $600 million in grants and scholarships for Vermont students, and also administers Vermont’s 529 college savings plan. Share your VSAC story by email to [email protected] or submit a video to YouTube. Find us at www.vsac.org or check in on Facebook and Twitter. #changing lives