VSAC raises $29.9 million to lend to students

The Vermont Student Assistance Corp. has sold $29.9 million in bonds to raise money to loan to Vermont students.

The loans can be used in the 2014-2015 school year by Vermont students attending colleges in the U.S. or abroad, or by out-of-state students attending Vermont institutions.

Undergraduate and graduate students can qualify for the Vermont Advantage student loans with fixed interest rates potentially as low as 5.58 percent APR. A qualified co-signer is required.

VSAC is a public, nonprofit corporation created by the Vermont Legislature in 1965 to help Vermonters plan and pay for education or training beyond high school.

In addition to college loan and grant programs, VSAC administers Vermont’s 529 college savings plan. The organization also conducts outreach to encourage low-income students to acquire higher education, and assists with college and career planning services for all Vermonters.

The organization received an ‘AA’ rating from Standard and Poor’s and an ‘A’ rating from Fitch Ratings after the sale of the bonds was announced.

Hilary Niles

Comments

  1. walter moses :

    My comment seems like spam? Wow. Vt. Digger supporting the wealthy here. Or maybe the establishment. Those of us who can remember yesterday know what a S&P triple AAA rating was on those CMOs back in 2008.

  2. MJ Farmer :

    I am confused, your article says VSAC administers the 529 plan, however, when I signed up for my 529 Vermont plan, it was all run through a Mass. Company. Please explain. Vermont Higher Education Investment Plan
    PO Box 8101
    Boston, MA 02266, phone info too.

    • Bruce Post :

      I helped set up VSAC’s Section 529 plan back in the 1998-2000 period. I no longer work at VSAC and am not currently knowledgeable about the exact structure of its current program.

      It is important to know that, while federal legislation gave states authority to establish these plans, states generally contract out the major elements of the investment program. One reason: In dealing with investments, federal laws require strict adherence to certain standards and requirements for providing potential investors with information about these plans and their investment options. For a long time, VSAC contracted with TIAA-CREF, which had the necessary “dealer/brokers” who could legally describe the particular choices people thinking about depositing funds in a 529 plan could make. A state organization, such as VSAC, would make some decisions about what kinds of investments might be offered under its plan, but most states do not have staff that fulfill federal requirements for counseling people on investment decisions. That is why you might see an address in Boston for a Vermont plan.

      Hope this helps.

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