VIRGINIA SCHOLARSHIP SAVINGS PLAN  --  FACT SHEET

1) The purpose of this program is to break the generational cycle of poverty.

2) To fund the program, unspent TANF funds are to be transferred into Virginia 529 College Savings Plan.

3) By 2020, 65 percent of all jobs will require postsecondary education and training beyond high school, with 35 percent requiring a bachelor's degree and 30 percent requiring some college or an associate's degree, a study by the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce estimates.

4) Research, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, shows that additional education or training can yield substantial earnings gains - this means that participants with more education or training will need less government assistance to meet their basic needs.

5) In 1998, the Florida legislature authorized expenditures of $2.5 million to purchase pre-paid scholarship for the children of TANF participants.A memorandum of understanding was signed with Take Stock In Children to help implement the scholarship program at no cost to the TANF program.

6) Take Stock In Children currently works in every county throughout Florida. Its mission is to break the cycle of poverty for low-income, academically qualified students by providing opportunities for a post-secondary education. The program currently serves 23,000 children throughout 67 Florida counties.

7) Selection Criteria: a) Students must be at risk of dropping out of school. b) The family must be economically disadvantaged. c) A parent must be a current or former TANF participant.

8) Scholarship Award Criteria: The student a) must stay drug- and crime- free, b) adhere to school attendance requirements, c) abide by the school’s code of conduct, d) maintain a satisfactory GPA, e) make progress on college preparatory plan.

9) Parent must a) enter employment and remain employed, b) remain off of cash assistance, c) continue to attend school conferences, d) stay drug- and crime-free.