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Peanuts, crackerjacks and college prep

Posted on Friday, August 2, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Minor league baseball fans in Nashville and Memphis can learn more about planning and saving for college during a night at the ballpark this Saturday.

The Tennessee Treasury Department and the Tennessee Higher Education Commission have teamed up with the Nashville Sounds and Memphis Redbirds baseball teams to offer several special promotions at Saturday’s home games for each team.

People can go online to <www.tnstars.com/contest/baseball> to purchase discounted tickets to both games. People who attend the Redbirds game can also register to win a chance to sit in the dugout for the postgame fireworks show.

The first 2,000 fans at the Sounds game will receive bobblehead dolls of former University of Tennessee pitcher R.A. Dickey, who won the Cy Young Award in Major League Baseball last year.

The Treasury Department and the Higher Education Commission will have representatives at both games to provide information about the TNStars College Savings 529 Program and the CollegeForTN.org web site.

TNStars is a program administered by the Treasury Department that allows people to save money for college expenses while enjoying certain tax advantages. People who open accounts can choose from 15 different investment options, ranging from conservative to aggressive.

Money earned on those investments can be withdrawn, tax-free, provided it is used to pay for qualified higher education expenses such as tuition, fees, housing, books or other equipment. To open a TNStars account, visit www.tnstars.com or call toll-free to 1-855-3TN-STAR (1-385-386-7827).

CollegeForTN.org is an online resource administered by the Higher Education Commission for people who wish to develop education plans matching their career goals. The site provides information about the steps needed to reach college and financial planning tips. There are also tools to help users create resumes, prepare for job interviews and share their achievements, goals and plans with college and career advisors.

“Many Tennessee children will be returning to school over the next couple of weeks, so it is an excellent time for their families to be thinking about college plans for them,” said State Treasurer David H. Lillard, Jr. “I encourage families to strongly consider opening TNStars accounts. You can open an account with as little as $25 and contribute whatever amounts suit your budget over time. Also, Tennesseans who already have 529 accounts in other programs will each receive $100 for transferring those accounts to TNStars. I want to thank the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, the Nashville Sounds and the Memphis Redbirds for joining with us on this promotion.”

“A college education has never been more important,” said Richard Rhoda, executive director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. “CollegeforTN.org offers excellent resources to help students match their personal interests to college majors and potential careers, while also providing information on paying for higher education. We are happy to be partnering with TNStars in ensuring more Tennesseans are prepared to attend and pay for college.”