Let ScholarShare Be Your Guide Towards College Savings

During College Savings Month, Put Your Little Student on the Path to College With a ScholarShare 529 College Savings Account

SACRAMENTO, CA--(Marketwire - Sep 6, 2012) - ScholarShare, California's 529 college savings program, is once again celebrating College Savings Month during the month of September. With college tuition costs rapidly rising, finding proper resources can greatly affect a family's ability to pay for their child's future college tuition. ScholarShare is joining more than 40 states across the country in recognizing College Savings Month and promoting the importance of saving for college.

During College Savings Month, ScholarShare is holding its first-ever "Share Your Story" contest on its recently launched Facebook page. For the month of September, California residents age 18 or older can "Like" ScholarShare's page and write in their personal college savings story -- from successes and tips to goals and challenges. Two entries will be chosen at random on September 21 to win $1,529 to begin or contribute towards their ScholarShare account. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Sponsored by ScholarShare. For official rules, prize details and entry deadlines, please visit our Facebook page and click on the "Share Your Story" tab at http://www.facebook.com/scholarshare529/.

ScholarShare wants every child to be able to pay for higher education, and the first step in helping a new student get a step closer to their goal is to open a college fund that can help lower the amount of money they may have to borrow in the future. It takes only $25 to open a brand new college savings account and each contribution can help reduce the amount your future student will have to borrow.

ScholarShare has the tools to make it easier than ever for anyone to contribute to their child's or loved ones' future college tuition costs. Families interested in saving for college can check out ScholarShare's new online resource tools on their website. And through the "Give a Gift" option on its website, any gift giver can open an account for children of all ages or contribute to an existing account. College savings specialists are available for phone and in-person consultations at no cost to answer questions.

ScholarShare offers flexible features for anyone interested in starting a college savings plan. Any US citizen, or resident alien with a valid Social Security Number or Taxpayer Identification Number, can open a new account on behalf of a beneficiary. Funds can be used at any eligible educational institution in the nation, and some abroad, for a variety of qualified higher education expenses, including mandatory fees, books, supplies, or even certain room and board costs.

About the ScholarShare 529 College Savings Plan:
ScholarShare accounts may be opened with as little as $25 per investment portfolio. ScholarShare has no annual account maintenance fee, no income limit and offers a high maximum contribution limit of $350,000. The program currently holds more than $4.4 billion in assets as of 6/30/2012. More than 310,000 accounts have been opened since ScholarShare's inception in 1999. To sign up for an account or for more information about the plan, visit http://www.scholarshare.com/. For information about the SIB, visit www.treasurer.ca.gov/scholarshare. Like ScholarShare on Facebook at www.facebook.com/scholarshare529 and follow us on Twitter at @ScholarShare529.

Named for the section of IRS code under which they were created, 529 plans are highly regarded for their tax-advantaged status. Any earnings on investments can grow tax-deferred. Withdrawals, when used for tuition and other qualified higher education expenses, are federal and state income tax-free.

Consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses before investing in the ScholarShare 529 College Savings Plan. Please visit www.scholarshare.com for a Program Disclosure Booklet containing this and other information. Read it carefully.

Before investing in a 529 plan, you should consider whether the state you or your Beneficiary reside in or have taxable income in has a 529 plan that offers favorable state income tax or other benefits that are only available if you invest in that state's 529 plan.

The tax information contained herein is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties. Taxpayers should seek advice based on their own particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor. Non‐qualified withdrawals may be subject to federal and state taxes and the additional federal 10% tax. Non-qualified withdrawals may also be subject to an additional 2.5% California tax on earnings.

Investments in the Program are neither insured nor guaranteed and there is the risk of investment loss.

The ScholarShare 529 College Savings Plan Twitter and Facebook pages are managed by the state of California.

TIAA‐CREF Tuition Financing, Inc., Program Manager.