The Community Foundation for Muskegon County will open a “deposit only” savings account with $50 for your kindergarten child.

  • A rewards program will help students earn additional deposits throughout the school year.
  • Financial education and activities will be offered to your student and family.
  • Your child can make withdrawals for any educational expense after high school.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is KickStart to Career?
KickStart to Career is designed to encourage hope, build savings, assist with career training or college expenses, and increase financial education. The program is managed by the Community Foundation for Muskegon County (CFMC). Each kindergarten student attending a public, private, or charter school in Muskegon County has the opportunity to be the beneficiary of an account, opened with a $50 deposit from the CFMC.

What type of account is it?
This is a deposit-only savings account, which means the funds remain in the account until CFMC approves a withdrawal for future education and training expenses. The CFMC holds the accounts for the benefit of the student. Your child will be named as beneficiary on the account.

I already have a Michigan Education Savings Program (MESP) 529 account for my child or was planning to start one. Can we still participate?
Yes, you can still be a part of the KickStart to Career program in addition to other education savings plans. As a KickStart participant, your child will be part of a classroom of students learning about careers, money and planning for the future! Please see a financial advisor to ask questions about the MESP 529 or other college savings plans.

How do I start my child’s account?
Accounts are started automatically for all kindergarten students. If parents would like to opt-out of a KickStart account, please contact the KickStart Coordinator at kickstart@muskegonfoundation.org or 231-767-3655.

Do I have to provide my child’s Social Security Number or other identifying information?
No. Because the CFMC is the owner of the account and it is held for the benefit of the child, a student’s name, address, date of birth and school ID number are all that is needed. This information is provided to the CFMC and the Financial Champions by the school district.

What information about my child will be collected and shared?
Student name, address, date of birth and student ID number will be shared with the CFMC and the Financial Champions. Additional information may also be shared in order to receive a student reward. Shared data will never include things like individual grades or test scores. This information will not be shared outside of the program.

What fees will be charged to the account?
The account is not subject to fees.

Is there a minimum deposit amount?
No, deposits of any size are welcomed and encouraged.

How do I make deposits to my child’s account?
Financial Champions will offer “Deposit Days” in your child’s school. You can also go to one of our Financial Champion branches to make a deposit. Please see the full list of champion locations under the ‘Grow Your Account’ tab.

How can my child earn rewards deposits?
Each school year, you will receive information about specific reward deposits your child can earn that year.

Who can inquire about my child’s account?
We are collaborating with PowerSchool for easy access to student deposit information. More information will be released this school year. You may also call the KickStart to Career Coordinator to ask for an account balance update.

How can funds in the account be used?
Funds can be used for any qualifying educational expenses after high school. Such expenses may include, but are not limited to: tuition, mandatory fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for enrollment or attendance, or for any other necessary cost of attending school, including travel to and from school, or for school application fees.

How do I make withdrawals from my child’s account?
As graduation nears, information will be provided to explain the withdrawal process. The CFMC will approve your withdrawals for qualifying educational expenses.

What if my family encounters a hardship?
Please contact the KickStart to Career Coordinator to discuss the possibility of an early withdrawal of family deposit funds.

How long does my child have to use the funds in the account?
The account will close in December of the year your child turns 26.

What if my child joins the military before college or takes longer than normal to complete their education?
Please contact the KickStart to Career Coordinator to arrange an extension to the closing date of your child’s savings account.

What if my child doesn’t use all the funds in the account?
If there are any funds remaining, you can contact the KickStart to Career Coordinator and complete an Education Completion Withdrawal form. They will then pay your child the total family deposit fund balance (deposits that you have made).

Does the account earn interest, and if so, how is it paid?
Yes, accounts earn interest. Interest will be compounded periodically and will be credited to accounts at that time as a savings reward.

Do I or my child have to claim the interest earned as income?
The Community Foundation owns the account and any interest earned will not need to be claimed as income for the child or family.

Are my deposits tax-deductible?
No, they are not.

What if we move?
If you move within the Muskegon Area Intermediate School District, your child is still considered a participant in the program and can continue to make deposits and request withdrawals for qualifying educational needs. If moving outside the district, you will still have access to your account but will not be eligible for rewards deposits. Update your address by contacting the KickStart to Career Coordinator.