Zac Carter, 10, of Brentwood, has been awarded a $529 scholarship that will be deposited into a TNStars College Savings 529 account in celebration of College Savings Month in Tennessee.
Carter is in the fifth grade at Kenrose Elementary School in Brentwood, where he was presented the scholarship funds by Assistant Treasurer Ashley Nabors on behalf of the Tennessee Department of Treasury, joined by his parents Steve and Tracy Carter, district Representative Glen Casada of Franklin and Kenrose Elementary Principal Rebekah Loffi and Assistant Principal Krista Kraemer.
The TNStars College Savings 529 Program made the scholarship giveaway available throughout September to all Tennessee residents, age 21 and older, to enter online on behalf of a child age 15 or under.
Carter was one of three Tennessee children randomly selected on Oct. 1 from each of the state’s Grand Divisions to receive a $529 scholarship deposited into a TNStars College Savings 529 account in celebration of College Savings Month in Tennessee. The other winners are Kendall Delashmitt, 13, of Hixson, an eighth-grader at Hixson Middle School, and Adelyn Lynch, 4, of Collierville, who attends preschool at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School in Germantown.
“Zac is energetic and loves playing football, spending time outdoors, listening to music and loves animals of all kinds,” said his father, Steve Carter. “He has interest in being an architect one day when he grows up.”
In August, Governor Bill Lee issued a proclamation declaring September as College Savings Month in Tennessee, stating that national student loan debt has surpassed $1.6 trillion. One way families can help avoid student loan debt is by opening a 529 college savings account. The TNStars College Savings 529 Program was created to encourage Tennessee families to save and invest for the future cost of higher education in a tax-advantaged way. Families can open an account with as little as $25 to start.
“The costs of higher education continue to increase, and that’s why the TNStars College Savings 529 Program is an ideal way for families to start saving early for education costs to avoid crippling student debt in the future,” Senator Jack Johnson said. “We hope this scholarship will help ease your future burden of student loan debt.”
Research shows that students with dedicated savings for college are about seven times more likely to attend college than children with no dedicated account. TNStars offers quality investment options at a low cost, so families can save more money for college.
“Even small, consistent contributions to a 529 account can make a big impact over time,” Casada said. “Zac, we hope this scholarship will put you and your family on a solid track toward the college savings you will need to pursue your career dreams.”
Money invested in a TNStars account grows tax-free when used for qualified higher education expenses including tuition, room and board, books, computers and more.
“I want to congratulate Zac, and encourage him to use these scholarship funds to pursue his career aspirations,” state Treasurer David H. Lillard Jr. said. “It’s important to start saving early, so that compounding interest works for you rather than against you with student loans, and I hope this scholarship will help you get started down that path.”
TNStars is a program of the Tennessee Department of Treasury. To learn more about TNStars or to open an account, visit TNStars.com.