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District of Columbia College Access Program (DC-CAP)

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Saving for College

It's never too early to save money for your child's college education. But with the skyrocketing costs of college -- tuition, room and board, books, travel -- it's rare that families are able to afford these expenses without sound financial planning. Due to the rising cost of college, it's vital that you create and stick to a real, attainable plan; a plan that you and your child/children/entire family understand and fully support.

In addition to following a well-organized savings plan, several types of financial aid exist:
Financial Aid

DC College Savings Plan

DC College Savings Plan is designed to help everyone save, regardless of income or investment experience. You can establish an account with as little as $25 with automatic bank account withdrawals, or $100 by check. Even a little savings today can add up to a lot over the next few years. Imagine you save $100 a month for the next five years ($6,000) and earn 7% on that money every year. In five years you could have $7,603 in savings for college expenses. You would have earned more than $1,600, which could pay for a computer and some text books.

The DC College Savings Plan is the Section 529 plan that is sponsored to the Government of the District of Columbia, and managed by Calvert Investments. 529 plan grows tax free, and is not taxed by the federal government when you take it out.

For more information, about the DC College Savings Plan please see your DC-CAP Advisor, visit www.dccollegesavings.com or call 800.987.4859.

Maryland College Savings Plan

The Maryland College Savings Plan of Maryland offers a variety of ways to help realize you and your child’s dream of affording college. Whatever they’ll eventually grow up to be: a lawyer, architect, writer or teacher, saving for college is an important first step in making it happen. The College Savings Plans of Maryland provide flexible and affordable plans to help Maryland families save for future college expenses and reduce dependence on student loans and other forms of debt.

The College Savings Plans of Maryland is an independent State agency that created two plans to fit your needs:

The Maryland Prepaid College Trust
•    Can be used at all two or four year Maryland public colleges
•    Can be used at nearly all private and out-of-state colleges throughout the U.S.
•    Substantial State and Federal tax incentives
•    Variety of tuition plans and payment options
•    Circumstantial flexibility
•    Easy eligibility
•    Contract prices based on today's college tuition costs

The Maryland College Investment Plan
•    Can be used at nearly all private and out-of-state colleges throughout the U.S.
•    Flexible contribution options starting at $25 per month
•    A wide choice of investment options managed by T. Rowe Price
•    Freedom to invest for a child or adult of any age
•    Low costs – no sales loads, commissions, or enrollment fees

Both plans are 529 plans, named after the section of the Internal Revenue Code that permits states to establish and administer tax-advantaged college saving plans. Each has its own set of features and benefits, and both offer generous federal and Maryland State tax incentives. Also, students may use their account at nearly any accredited college nationwide.

For more information, about the MD College Savings Plan please see your DC-CAP Advisor, visit www.collegesavingsmd.org or call 1-888-4MD-GRAD (463-4723).

The Virginia Prepaid Education Program (VPEP)

The Virginia Prepaid Education Program is one of the Section 529 qualified tuition programs offered by the Virginia College Savings Plan. VPEP lets Virginia families prepay the cost of tomorrow's college tuition and mandatory fees today. Contract payments cover future in-state undergraduate tuition and mandatory fees for the normal full-time course load at Virginia public colleges and universities.

Benefits can also be used at Virginia private colleges, as well as most colleges and universities around the country, and, in some cases, throughout the world, although full coverage of tuition at these schools is not guaranteed.
For more information, about the Virginia Prepaid Education Program (VPEP) please see your DC-CAP Advisor, visit www.vpep.state.va.us or call 1-888-567-0540

Financial Aid for Non-U.S. Citizens

If you are the parent of a student who is not a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident, he or she may not be eligible for federal, state or institutional financial aid. Regardless of their citizenship status, DC-CAP is committed to providing counseling and financial services to all DC public and DC public charter high school students. Our resources are available to all students and their families who are U.S. citizens, permanent residents, foreign nationals and non-U.S. citizens. Students who are not U.S. citizens or residents who want to be considered for the DC-CAP financial assistance must complete the DC-CAP Financial Aid Form for non-U.S. Citizens.

The information on the form will be collected solely for the purposes of determining financial assistance from DC-CAP.

* The DC-College Access Program (DC-CAP) is a non-profit organization funded by private resources. DC-CAP is not affiliated with any local, state or federal government agency and receives no funds from such entities. All information collected is confidential and remains in the custody of DC-CAP. DC-CAP will not release any information without the written consent of the applicant.

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