FAQs & Program Policies
What is Kindergarten to College and other questions you may have.
How do I get started?
If you are in Robla School District, your child’s account will be automatically opened and invested with $25. Look for an email from “firstname.lastname@example.org” for a direct link to claim the account. If you can not find the link, please contact us and a K2C Coordinator will contact you soon to assist.
If you are in SCUSD, please fill out our webform. Once you do that, a K2C coordinator will work with your school to set up the account and will contact you when it’s ready. Then, all you need to do is check your email for a direct link to claim the account!
If neither of these apply to you, but a K2C coordinator or FEC coach has started the process for you, feel free to contact us to see what your next steps are.
How do I access my account?
After you have created a login for ScholarShare’s online system, Outcome Tracker, you can log in at any time to check your account. You may follow this link to get to the login page.
How much do I have to deposit every month?
This is the most common question we receive in person. K2C does not require participants to deposit any of their own money. We understand if you do not feel ready to save for college today, which is why we offer multiple incentives that require none of your own money to earn.
If you are ready to save, we think that’s great! We can help you do that. If you link a ScholarShare 529 account through your account portal and make a deposit, we will match each dollar with two up to $50 in your K2C Account.
How do I make deposits into my account?
Right now, you can not put your own money into the K2C Seed Accounts. If you wish, you can create your own account with ScholarShare 529 and make deposits there. If you decide to do this, please be sure to link the two accounts through Outcome Tracker so we can match your deposits!
For information on how to do this, please look at the guide linked to this page on the right side under “Related Links”.
How can I grow my account?
There are many ways to grow your account without depositing your own money! Of course, everyone starts with a $25 seed in their account just for claiming it!
Refer a friend, $50: When you claim your account, you may identify one other kindergarten parent who told you about the program. If you do, we will put $50 in their account! That means if you tell others about K2C, you can earn $50 as well. This is limited to one deposit per person and one reference per new user. New users must be parents/guardians of kindergarteners enrolled at one of our 10 partner schools.
Financial Workshops, $100: Every month, we will have online Financial Workshops that last about 1 Hour. If you attend one of our free, sponsored workshops, we will credit your K2C account with another $100. This is only available once per user per year.
Matching Funds, Up to $50: Finally, if you decide to open your own ScholarShare 529 account and link it through Outcome Tracker, we will match each dollar you deposit with two in your K2C account. For example, if you invested $25, we would add $50 to your child’s Seed Account. For information on how to open and link an account, please look at the guide linked to this page on the right under “Related Links”.
Can my other children receive a K2C Seed Account?
We can only offer Seed Accounts and incentives to current Kindergarten students in our 10 partner schools. For example, if you have a child in Kindergarten and 3rd grade in Robla School District, we can only offer your youngest our program.
If you are ready to save for your other children’s future, we would recommend opening an account with our partner ScholarShare 529. In fact, you may qualify for their 2020 Matching Grant Program. If you qualify, they can offer you dollar-for-dollar matching deposits up to $200.
What is a Kindergarten to College Seed Account?
K2C Seed Accounts are $25 savings accounts that will be opened for kindergarteners in qualifying schools. This seed money from United Way is held within a ScholarShare 529 account for the student. Furthermore, families can open another 100% tax-free ScholarShare 529 account at no cost to receive further matching awards from United Way. Information about ScholarShare 529 can be found at scholarshare529.com.
What is ScholarShare?
ScholarShare is a state-sponsored, tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan that helps families and individuals plan for the cost of higher education. It’s available to any citizen or taxpayer in California.
What is a 529 plan?
A 529 is a special saving account designed to encourage early, affordable, and consistent saving towards college or any form of post-secondary education. For more information on 529 plans, including their advantages and possible incentives, please visit the ScholarShare 529 website.
Kindergarten to College (K2C) Seed Accounts are opened and maintained by United Way California Capital Region (UWCCR) and the City of Sacramento. The K2C Seed Account will be maintained by UWCCR for the benefit of individual students enrolled in participating Sacramento area schools. The K2C Seed Account will receive any incentive funds from the K2C program and accrue interest based on ScholarShare’s Passive Enrollment Year Investment Portfolio. To earn the matching incentives, families must open their own Family-owned ScholarShare 529.
Both the K2C Seed Account and the Family-owned Account are intended to be deposit only accounts. Families may request funds from the K2C Seed Account for qualifying educational purposes. If necessary, families may withdraw funds from the Family-owned Account before the student beneficiary is of age to use on non-educational expenses, but those funds will then be subject to taxes detailed below.
Seed Account Information
K2C Seed Accounts will be opened and maintained by UWCCR and the City of Sacramento along with ScholarShare 529. The accounts will grow through contributions made or authorized by the student and/or their parent/guardian and on an annual basis based on the associated investment portfolios. Additional contributions, matches, and/or incentive awards to the K2C Seed Account may only be provided by the K2C program. Any other funds may be provided by the families to the Family-owned Account. Students must be enrolled in a participating Sacramento area school in order to receive K2C Program contributions, matches or incentives. All K2C Seed Account assets will be held by UWCCR in accordance with K2C program rules. For any year the student is not enrolled in a participating school, any funds in the K2C Seed Account will remain active for use by the student or parent/guardian and will continue to accrue interest based on the Passive Enrollment Year Investment Portfolio. However, the Seed Account will not be eligible for additional match or incentive awards from the K2C Program. All other program rules will still apply. The K2C Seed Account balance and transaction history will be available online for review by the student and their parent/guardian.
There is no annual or one-time limit to the amount one may contribute to the Family-owned Account. Contributions to any ScholarShare account can be done by check, automatic contribution plan (e.g. direct deposit or payroll deduction), or by electronic funds transfer.
Requests for Qualified Withdrawals may be made to the K2C Program Administrator for qualified higher education expenses such as tuition, mandatory fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for enrollment or attendance, or for any other eligible purpose that is in accordance with federal qualified tuition plan (529) rules. Eligible institutions include accredited private colleges, public universities, community colleges, graduate schools, and trade schools that qualify for federal student aid.
What if I have a child who isn’t in kindergarten but I still want to open a 529 account for them?
We can help you open up a ScholarShare 529 account for your child so you can start saving for their postsecondary education. The K2C Seed Accounts, however, are meant specifically for kindergarten students in our participating schools. Therefore, the incentives listed above are only available to those students. Regardless, our program encourages families to actively invest in their own 529 accounts and that money can be used for the higher education of any qualifying family member. This means families could roll-over funds from their own, Family-Owned 529 account to other children if necessary. For more information of incentives that ScholarShare itself offers, check out their Matching Grant Program.
How are the Kindergarten to College Accounts managed?
The Kindergarten to College Savings Program is administered in collaboration between United Way California Capital Region and the City of Sacramento.
K2C savings funds are held within a master account in ScholarShare 529 Plan, which operates as a qualified tuition program under Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code. The K2C master account is subdivided and invested in the Passive Enrollment Year Investment Portfolio with ScholarShare 529. These portfolios are managed by TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. Enrollment Year Investment Portfolios are designed to become more conservative as the children near their anticipated college enrollment date, offering participants an opportunity to grow savings while the child is younger and better safeguard savings against market fluctuations when the child nears college age.
Can I manage or make deposits to the K2C Seed Account?
All changes to the K2C Seed Account, including any incentive or matching awards, will be completed by UWCCR and the City of Sacramento who administer the K2C Program. As such, families may not make direct contributions to the K2C Seed Account. Families are encouraged to claim the K2C Seed Account so they may monitor the growth of the account. Families only need to create a username, password, and log in once to claim the account. This can be done at a K2C Kickoff Event, Financial Workshop, or online at yourlocalunitedway.org/k2c.
What should I do if I move?
Families are encouraged to keep their address information current with the program. The program may receive periodic address updates from the school districts, which will be used to update addresses as necessary. If you move and change schools away from our participating schools, the Seed Account funds remain, the student remains the beneficiary, and the funds can still be used in accordance with the program rules. However, only students enrolled in participating schools can receive new incentive funds. To manually update contact information, please log into the K2C Outcome Tracker portal.
How do I use the funds saved in a K2C Seed Account?
When your student enrolls in an eligible postsecondary institution and wants to use the funds in their K2C Seed Account, the student must contact UWCCR to request a distribution. The student will be required to complete a Distribution Form. Once approved, the account owner will initiate payment from the program and send the payment directly to the institution of higher education for the benefit of the student.
Eligible institutions include thousands of colleges, universities, and technical/vocational schools across the nation. Eligible schools are defined by Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code and generally include any postsecondary school that is eligible to participate in federal financial aid programs.
The money held in the program for each student- the initial $25 deposit, interest earnings, and any matching grant or community dollars- may not be used for any other purpose than to pay for qualified costs related to higher education. Monies held in the K2C accounts will be paid directly to the institution by your student, as described above.