The program will be funded and administered by CollegeInvest without any taxpayer dollars. First Step is the result of HB19-1280, a bipartisan bill Gov. Polis signed into law this year.
“My administration is committed to investing in education and focused on driving down costs,” said Governor Polis. “We know that students with some college savings from low-and middle-income families are three times more likely to enroll in college and four times more likely to graduate than those without a 529 plan.”
CollegeInvest is a Colorado nonprofit state agency that helps families prepare for the cost of postsecondary education and reduce student loan dept, especially for lower- and middle-income families.
“Every dollar saved counts when it comes to paying for education, and First Step will help Colorado families get their college savings plans off to a strong start, right from the beginning,” said Angela Baier, CollegeInvest’s CEO. “Opening a CollegeInvest 529 college savings account for a child at birth allows more time for savings to accumulate and interest to accrue.”
Gov. Polis recently released a Roadmap to Containing College Costs and Making College More Affordable.
Contributing to CollegeInvest 529 college savings accounts can cut the cost of college nearly in half by implementing the simple principle of earning interest through long-term savings, rather than paying interest on student loans.
“First Step makes a down payment on the future of our state with an early investment in the education of our next generation,” said State Rep. Leslie Herod, the primary sponsor of the legislation. “Along with CollegeInvest’s Matching Grant and 529 Scholarship programs for lower- to middle-income families—both of which are also privately funded–Colorado is taking bold steps to break down the financial barriers that limit educational equity.”
The one-time First Step contribution is available for all children born or adopted in the State of Colorado starting on January 1, 2020. Parents or legal guardians of newborns or newly adopted children can find more information online by visiting collegeinvest.org/firststep.