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In 1990, my husband and I first became aware of the new college savings program in Ohio. At that time, our three children were in grades 10, 3, and 1. After investigating the program thoroughly, we signed up for an account for each of our children. My husband worked for the State of Ohio and was able to use payroll deduction for monthly contributions to the three accounts. It was a very simple, painless way to save!
Since it was only two years later that our son began college at BGSU and he had a room scholarship for four years as well as several other smaller grants, we did not need to use any of his account for his education. He was able to graduate in four years with no college loans. We transferred his unused balance from his CollegeAdvantage account to his sister.
Our older daughter enrolled at Ohio Wesleyan. She was granted a scholarship of 50% tuition plus several smaller grants. In the fall of her junior year, my husband passed away unexpectedly. Luckily, her account balance, with the addition of her brother’s funds, made it possible for her to graduate with no loans, like her brother.
Then the youngest daughter graduated from high school and enrolled at Notre Dame. She was fortunate to receive a full scholarship there for four years, which covered room, board, tuition, books and a stipend for living expenses. Her tuition account remained in Ohio and kept growing. After graduating from Notre Dame, she enrolled in law school at the Ohio State University. She had several scholarships, but it was also necessary to utilize her college savings account, which had been in existence since she was in first grade. The account had a healthy balance and she, too, was able to graduate with no loans!
All three are married now and successful, professional adults. My son is an IT consultant living in Atlanta. The oldest daughter is a former English teacher, now a stay-at-home mom of three in Dallas, and the younger daughter is an attorney living in Chicago.
I have four grandchildren--who all have CollegeAdvantage accounts. Birthday and Christmas gifts for them consist primarily of contributions to their college funds. I will be enrolling a new granddaughter as soon as she receives her social security number.
Another generation of our family will be helped along the way to a college education by the Ohio CollegeAdvantage Program.
Bonnie Jean Bolsen
Posted on September 5, 2016