Following are some of the questions that you might have on the Availa Kares College Savings Plan. Be sure to contact us with any questions not addressed below.
The Availa Kares program is available to any child enrolled in Kindergarten in Hamilton County at the end of the school year.
This program's inaugural year will kick off with Kindergarten students completing the 2018-2019 school year.
The student will be the beneficiary of a 529 College Savings Program with an initial balance of $100. Monies to seed the plan are being provided by the program's primary sponsor, Availa Bank. In addition, Hamilton County will be providing monies from the local options sales tax.
Parents/guardians will need to complete the required enrollment paperwork. There will be many opportunities to learn about the program and to enroll a student in the program.
In addition, we realize some parents/guardians may not be ready to enroll their student right away so there is a grace period through the end of the student's second grade year. As long as they are enrolled by the last day of their second grade school year, they can enroll and become the beneficiary of a 529 College Savings Plan with an initial balance of $100.
No. The student does not need to live Hamilton County to be eligible to participate in the Availa Kares College Savings Program. They do need to be registered in one of the following Kindergarten programs located in Hamilton County to be eligible: Northeast Hamilton, South Hamilton, Stratford, St Thomas Aquinas or Webster City.
What if my child entered a Kindergarten program half way through the 2018-2019 school year, will they still be eligible?
Yes. Students enrolled in a Hamilton County Kindergarten program on the last day of the school year will be eligible to be the beneficiary of a 529 College Savings Plan.
The inaugural year of the Availa Kares College Savings Program will be with the Kindergarten students completing the 2018-2019 school year.
If a student moves away or is no longer enrolled in a Hamilton County school during their K-12 academic career, the fund remains open and any monies earned will be held in the account until they graduate. No additional incentive monies will be added to the fund.
Upon graduation from high school, the student will have access to their Availa Kares College Savings Program for 10 years following their graduation date. If they do not use the monies within this timeframe, the monies will be returned to the pool of funds for distribution into new accounts.
Funds from the Availa Kares College Savings Program can be used to support any post-secondary education at a college, university or trade school.
Are parents/guardians, grandparents and others able to deposit monies into the student's Availa Kares account?
If you are wanting to make contributions to your child's fund and take advantage of the many benefits that doing so provides, we encourage you to set up a separate 529 College Savings Plan for your child. For more information on how to set up your own account, contact us or visit the College Savings Iowa website.
Due to the structure of how our program is set up, we will not be able to accept donations designated for a specific child. However, we can accept donations to the overall program and can use those donations for incentives. This will assist us in growing each child's fund balance.
For more information, contact us for details.
On the enrollment paperwork you be able to indicate an “Interested Party" on the account. This person will receive a mailed statement once a year from College Savings Iowa.
To gain access to view the account information online at any time, simply complete the “Responsible Individual" information on the Availa Kares enrollment form.
The Financial Literacy Council of Greater Hamilton County owns each of the 529 plans and the student is the beneficiary.
Each of the 529 accounts are set up and managed through the College Savings Iowa 529 Plan.
Students will have opportunities throughout their K-12 education experience in Hamilton County to earn incentives to specifically go into their fund. Monies will be provided by businesses and individual charitable donors who support the program and want to invest in the future of Hamilton County.