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12 students will win scholarships at basketball tourney

“And she dribbles, shoots, and scores — a scholarship!” For 12 lucky students, that will be the announcement they’ll hear over the intercom during the upcoming state basketball tournament.

For many Mississippians, sports can be the motivation and the means through which they achieve their college dreams. But sports scholarships can be hard to come by, and most families can’t afford to rely on such good fortune. College Savings Mississippi, however, empowers you to plan ahead, and we’re using the state basketball championships to assist families in doing just that.

Once again this year, your State Treasury and our College Savings Mississippi team will be returning to the tournament to host a Savings Shootout. Students of all ages are invited to sign up at the door of the Coliseum in Jackson. If we draw your child’s name to participate, they’ll just need to shoot more free-throws than their competitor to take home a $500 Mississippi Affordable College Savings (MACS) scholarship. It’s a great boost to jumpstart anyone’s college savings goals.

But whether you’re a Savings Shootout winner or not, getting started with MACS could be a slam-dunk for you. MACS operates much like a typical savings account, although it often has tax advantages a regular account doesn’t offer.

Once you make a deposit, you’ll be able to gain interest on your investment. When it’s time to withdraw, use the funds to pay tuition, buy books and supplies, or cover certain room and board expenses. The money can also be used to fund continued education (such as a Master’s Degree or MBA) or pay private school tuition expenses for a child in elementary or high school.  In other words, even if your child does end up earning that sports scholarship, the MACS money will be able cover what the scholarship does not.

Please stop by our booth at the Coliseum during the state basketball tournament, March 4-6, to sign up for the Savings Shootout or just get more information about getting started with College Savings Mississippi. If you aren’t able to attend the games, I invite you to learn more at Treasury.MS.gov/CollegeSavings or call 601-359-3600.

Good luck to all of this year’s players, coaches, and communities. Congratulations on making it this far. I hope to see you at the game!

Mississippi Treasurer David McRae is the 55th Treasurer for the State of Mississippi. In this role, he helps manage the state’s cash flow, oversees College Savings Mississippi, and has returned more than $20 million in unclaimed money to Mississippians.