The state of Connecticut runs an amazing program for its newest CT residents, who were either born or adopted in the past year: the CHET Baby Scholars Program.
To take advantage of this offer you must open a Connecticut 529 Plan within 12 months following the child's birth or adoption. (The child must be a CT resident, but the account owner is not required to be a CT resident. If you're an out-of-state grandparent, auntie, or uncle to a CT child, this is available to you, too!)
Setting up an account is super-easy, and takes 10-15 minutes when you have the Social Security numbers (or Taxpayer ID Numbers) of both the account owner and the child, plus the child's CT address.
If you're not sure whether a Connecticut 529 plan is right for you, our quick, interactive college savings guide will walk you through what you need to know.
What you get from Connecticut's CHET Baby Scholars Program (Spoiler alert: up to $250!)
1) $100 for just opening the account. You don't have to contribute a dollar yourself, just open the account and - BOOM! - $100 from Connecticut for the child!
(That "BOOM!" is slightly delayed - expect to see the $100 show up in your child's CT 529 plan the quarter after you open the account.)
2) 100% match on the first $150 you contribute anytime during the child's first 4 years (either after birth or legal adoption)
The timing is the same as the initial $100.
That means that if you open an account with $150 or more, you earn the full $250 - AWESOME.
A few other key things to know:
- The account owner does not need to be a CT resident to take advantage of this offer, but the child (aka the beneficiary of this CT 529 plan) does need to be a CT resident
- The child can only receive the $250 once, opening multiple accounts will not increase your rewards
Not sure if a CT 529 plan is right for your family? Our interactive college savings guide will help you decide what’s best based on your situation and goals.
How To Do It
Step 1: Open an CT 529 Plan during the 12 months following birth or legal adoption
You can open a CT Direct-Sold 529 Plan online* - it says 15 minutes, but you can totally blast through it in 10 minutes if you’ve got your Social Security Number (or Tax Payer ID Number) and the child’s SSN and address.
Note that CT offers two 529 plans: a Direct-Sold Plan and an Advisor-Sold Plan. The Direct-Sold Plan earns an AboveBoard rating of "Good" (our second highest rating) and we think it's a great choice for account owners who are CT residents and/or taking advantage of special offers like the CHET Baby Scholars program.
The Advisor-Sold Plan earns an AboveBoard rating of "Not Recommended" (our lowest rating), and you would need to open it through a financial advisor. Learn why we think the Advisor-Sold Plan is a bad deal for CT parents with our college savings guide.
Once you've created the account, take note of the account number on your newly minted CT 529 Direct-Sold Plan, because you’ll need it for Step 2!
Step 2: Opt in to CHET Baby Scholars
You’ll need to fill out a separate (but quick) form on CHET's website -- keep in mind you WILL need the account number on your CT 529 plan.
You must complete Step 2 to earn the CHET Baby Scholars $250 - simply having an account open for an eligible child is not enough.
Like reading the fine print yourself? Great! Here are the CHET Baby Scholars Rules.
You should also sign up for a special offer Connecticut is running until 12/31/2017 to get an extra $50. Learn how to do that here.
To get clear, honest information about saving for college - tailored to what you tell us about your situation and goals - check out our interactive AboveBoard College Savings Guide.