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    Posted September 17, 2010

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$500 Union Plus Grant

Saving for College is Hard, but a $500 Union Plus Grant Makes it Easier for Union Actor

When Kevin Kraft of Maplewood, NJ, is not studying for a part, you'll find him researching saving opportunities and benefits to ensure a secure future for his family. And when he discovers a great program, like the $500 Union Plus College Savings Grant that's helping him save for college for his son Leo, he acts fast.

"As an actor you can fall into that trap of thinking that next big part, big break or big paycheck is just around the corner," Kevin says, "and then you can look back and find you haven't saved anything." Kevin and his wife Holly, who are both union members, have learned to be creative with their savings and their spending because they believe that planning ahead financially is critical in this economy especially since they have a two year old.

In recent years, college tuition, fees and living expenses have been rising faster than working families' ability to pay them- with the potential to put college out of reach for many families. Today more than ever, it helps to start early and contribute often!

Union Plus College Savings Grants provide $500 to union members and retirees who open a new tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan or pre-paid tuition account. The 529 account must have a balance of at least $1,000 and the beneficiary must be 12 years old or younger at the time the 529 account is opened.

Kevin calls opening a 529 a "no-brainer." But he's happy to tell you several reasons why it's also a very smart decision. "You can put money into a 529, save on taxes when you do it, and the money can grow over time. You can set it up for automatic payments from your account." And, he adds, "As a union member you can get a $500 education grant from Union Plus. Free money!" he says.

"I learned about the program I went to the Union Plus website to learn more about their benefits. Turns out they have quite a few. I've already told a bunch of people," says Kevin, a member of AEA, AFTRA and SAG.

If you have a child or grandchild who is 12 or under and you are concerned about the cost of college, visit to learn more about this union-member-only program. There, you'll also learn about an array of special Union Plus education programs like these that can help you meet the high cost of paying college, and help prepare union members, their children and grandchildren for the future:

  • $150,000 in Union Plus Scholarship awards are granted to students attending a two-year college, four-year college, graduate school or a recognized technical or trade school.

  • Save 15% - 60% on college and graduate school test preparation courses from The Princeton Review. Includes classroom, online and private tutoring for the SAT®, ACT®, GMAT®, LSAT®, GRE®, MCAT® as well as college affordability and admissions online courses. Visit or call 1-888-243-7737.

  • Scholarships to help union members and leaders obtain degrees at the National Labor College including scholarships to obtain a Green Workplace Representative Certificate.

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