On June 27th, the Yale Worklife Program, Yale Family Network (a subcommittee of WWN), and the Yale Affinity Groups hosted Elizabeth McLaughlin of TIAA, to discuss the Connecticut Higher Education Tuition (CHET) program.
Elizabeth informed the group about the many benefits CHET provides to Connecticut residents who are saving for future college costs.
During the conversation, Elizabeth dispelled a few myths about the CHET program and provided guidance for those who were concerned about the myths.
Myth 1 - It’s too late to start saving
Truth - It’s never too late to start saving - the CHET program offers 14 different investment options to choose from, regardless of the age of your child or how many years until college.
Myth 2 - The CHET funds can only be used for tuition
Truth – The CHET funds can be used for more than tuition; books, lab equipment, and housing are acceptable options.
Myth 3 – The Funds will have a negative effect on my child’s chances of financial aid.
Truth - Funds in a CHET account are considered assets of the parent (not child) and therefore count less than the child’s assets would in financial aid calculations. Contributions in an account not owned by the parent, e.g. a grandparent or aunt, are not included in financial aid decisions from colleges.
Myth 4 – CHET is only for children
Truth - CHET is not just for children, it can be used by adults to help supplement higher education costs associated with obtaining an advanced degree.
Myth 5 – It’s too expensive
Truth – The minimum contribution amount is $25 a month or $15 for those who choose payroll deduction.
Elizabeth also explained the benefits associated with opening a CHET account:
CHET Baby Scholars Program
Connecticut will provide up to $250 to start a CHET account for new babies in CT who are under one year old (click here for more details).
State Tax Deduction
Connecticut taxpayers receive a state tax deduction on CHET contributions. Also, any earnings grow federal and state tax-free, and withdrawals used for qualified expenses are tax-free.
Family and Friends Can Contribute
Family and friends can contribute to your CHET account, or open their own account for your child. Either way, they can take advantage of the state tax deduction.
CHET Gift Cards are Now Available
CHET gift cards can be purchased in Toys R Us or Babies R Us in the State, and given as gifts, and applied towards a loved one’s CHET account (the recipient must have a CHET account). Click here for more information about the CHET gift cards.
Please visit CHET for more information, or call 1-888-799-2438 with any questions.