The Meadowlark Savings Pledge provides eligible Nebraska newborns with a NEST savings account for education expenses when the time comes. Because your baby was born in 2020 or 2021, they will receive a Meadowlark account, as directed by the Meadowlark Act. The program was effective starting in 2020.
How It Works
Here are the ABCs of the Meadowlark Savings Pledge.
You’re encouraged to start saving for your new little one with your own NEST 529 Advisor account. Your contributions go into your account that you control. With it, you’ll also be able to view the balance of your Meadowlark account.Meadowlark funds are flexible and may be used at most Nebraska private and public two- or four-year technical, trade, vocational, graduate, or professional schools.
- Automatic enrollment, with no extra costs or paperwork required of you.
- Baby has an account in their name for future education expenses.
- Contribution of $50 for their future (Nebraska babies born in the calendar year 2020 or 2021).
You may permanently opt out of the Meadowlark Program at any time.
For a child born in the calendar year 2020 or 2021, who is a resident of Nebraska at the time of birth, a parent may elect to permanently exclude their child from the Meadowlark Program. By electing to exclude your child from the Meadowlark Program, your child will not be eligible to receive the $50 Meadowlark contribution for higher education.
IMPORTANT: If you elect to exclude your child from the Meadowlark Program you understand the election is permanent and your child will not be eligible to participate in the future.
To remove your child from the Meadowlark Program, select the "Opt Out Now" button or download the printable form. Be sure to have the following important information ready before you start:
- Your child’s date of birth.
- Your child’s Nebraska Birth Certificate State File Number found in the upper right corner of their birth certificate. Please note, this is not their Social Security number.
What do I need to know?
It is easy for the parent or legal guardian to get started. Here are the key things to know:Any baby born on or after January 1, 2020, who is a resident of Nebraska at the time of birth is eligible to receive a one-time Meadowlark seed contribution. Babies are enrolled in the program in the spring following their year of birth.The $50 from the State is the seed to get you started, but it’s just the start. NEST 529 Advisor makes it easy to save for higher education:
- Learn about 529 college savings plans - 529 Basics.
- Learn more about NEST 529 and all its advantages - NEST 529 Features.
- Contact your financial advisor to open your own NEST 529 Advisor account – it’s fast and easy and you’ll be glad you did down the road.
Once you’ve opened your NEST 529 Advisor account, we’ll link your Meadowlark seed deposit to your account – it’s that easy!
Other Important Details
Use of Funds: Meadowlark funds may only be used to pay the qualified higher education expenses of the child at an eligible educational institution located in Nebraska. Any disbursement from the Meadowlark Program shall be made before the qualified child reaches age 30. At age 30, any unused funds shall no longer be available.
What are qualified higher education expenses: tuition and fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible educational institution, apprenticeship program expenses, expenses for the purchase of computer or certain peripheral equipment, certain computer software, internet access, expenses for special needs services in the case of a special needs beneficiary, and payment of principal or interest on any qualified education loan of the Beneficiary or a sibling of the Beneficiary (up to an aggregate lifetime limit of $10,000 per individual). If enrolled at least half-time, reasonable room and board expenses, with certain limitations.
Meadowlark funds will be owned by the Nebraska Educational Savings Plan Trust. Neither the qualified child or his or her parent or legal guardian shall have any ownership rights or interest in, or title to, or power or control over such an account.
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