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Delaware offers $100 for new state college savings plans

Office of the State Treasurer

Delaware launches a new program called First State, First Steps encouraging families to start saving for college.

The state is contributing $100 to each new qualifying account.

The contribution is for new DE529 accounts opened through the end of the year for residents five years or younger.

A minimum contribution of $100 must be made into the account to qualify.

State Treasurer Colleen Davis said starting to save for college early is key as education prices have risen dramatically over the years.

“Those investments tend to be very, very rewarding, particularly in those younger years. So the growth happens a lot more rapidly if you’re able to make those savings contributions at a younger age,” Davis said.

Accounts can be used for different kinds of education, from trade school to certifications, and community college.

“Really, we want to get families excited about preparing their youngest children, our youngest Delawareans, for higher education, for college and trade school, and for a better economic future,” Davis said.

She noted the program is funded through administrative revenue, not taxpayer money.

The Office of the Treasurer expects around 400 people to utilize the program.

DE529 plans are managed by Fidelity.

Mark Arehart is an award-winning reporter/producer. Before returning to Delaware, Arehart was a reporter for WKSU and Ideastream Public Media in Northeast Ohio. He previously hosted Morning Edition and covered the arts scene for Delaware Public Media. He has worked for KNKX in Seattle, Kansas Public Radio, and KYUK in Bethel, Alaska.