Utah’s Bright Future Fund is a child savings account project serving families participating in the Next Generation Kids and/or Head Start programs in Ogden/Weber and Salt Lake area. Families in these programs will have an opportunity to open a 529 college savings account for each child and earn up to $250 per account by achieving a series of financial milestones within one year. Participants earn their first $50 simply by enrolling in the program. Referring agencies will match each dollar deposited to an independent student 529 college student account, up to $150. By preparing and filing taxes for free at a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site participants will earn $25 for the account. Completing an approved financial literacy course or budget development activity earns an additional $25.
- Initial Deposit = $50
- Automatic Paycheck Deduction = $50
- Taxes Prepared for FREE = $25
- Approved Financial Literacy Component = $25
- Dollar for Dollar Match = Up to $150
- Total Savings: $300
The intent of this project is to encourage families to save by providing opportunities and incentives. Research has shown families participating in child savings account programs, whether through traditional banks, credit unions or college savings accounts are 2.5 times more likely to enroll in and graduate from college.
This project utilizes Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP) 529 college savings accounts and Utah Community Action Partnership Utah (CAP Utah) is the program sponsor for each account that is opened. The Department of Workforce Services Next Generation Kids, Ogden-Weber Community Action Partnership and Salt Lake Community Action Partnership are cohort partner agencies that will refer families and fund the accounts.
Utah’s Bright Future Fund is brought to you by CAP Utah and these community partners.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the specifics of the Utah’s Bright Future Fund?
A: You have the opportunity to earn $250 to be deposited into a Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP) 529 college savings account. You will earn an initial deposit of $50 simply by enrolling in the program. By having your taxes prepared for free at a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site or online you can earn an additional $25. Go to UtahTaxHelp.org for more information. You can earn another $25 by completing an approved financial literacy activity. Contact the agency that referred you for details. Finally, the agency that referred you will match each dollar you donate to your family owned 529 college student account, up to $150.
Q: Aren’t UESP and Utah’s Bright Future Fund the same thing? Why do I need to have both?
A: Utah’s Bright Future Fund is a child savings account pilot project serving families participating in the Next Gen Kids and/or Head Start programs in Ogden/Weber and Salt Lake area. Families in these programs will have the opportunity to earn scholarship funds through Utah’s Bright Future Fund that will be transferred to an independently established, family owned 529 college savings account provided by UESP.
Q: How do I qualify for Utah’s Bright Future Fund?
A: You must be recommended by an agency that is participating in the pilot project. Go to UtahTaxHelp.org for more information.
Q: How long will my account with Utah’s Bright Future Fund be open?
A: Utah’s Bright Future Fund project aligns with the school year. The funds must be earned within one year.
Q: What happens after the first year?
A: All earnings from Utah’s Bright Future Fund will be transferred into your family owned 529 college savings account. You can continue to make deposits into that account as frequently as you would like.
Q: If I don’t qualify for Utah’s Bright Future Fund, how can I enroll my student for a 529 College Savings Account?
A: UESP has a wonderful 529 college savings plan. Go to uesp.org for more information to see if you qualify.
Q: How do I open up an account?
A: The agency that referred you will have a link where you can open up your account online.
Q: What documents will I need to open up my account?
A: All you need is basic contact and personal information, including a social security number, for both the adult opening the account and the student who will be utilizing the funds.
Q: I have questions about my 529 College Savings account including how I can spend the money in my account. Where should I go?
A: You should contact UESP for specific questions about your account or to determine how you can spend your account. Go to uesp.org or call 1-800-418-2551.
Q: Why do I need to set my own Investment Options?
A: Neither UESP or anyone affiliated with Utah’s Bright Future Fund can provide anyone with specific recommendations for which investment options are best for you or your family. We can only provide information on the types of investment options that are available and you must select the one you feel appropriate for your family.