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UC faculty and staff may participate in a college savings program through payroll deductions. The ScholarShare College Savings Plan is the state of California’s “529” college savings program, designed to help California families and others save to meet the increasing costs of higher education. ScholarShare participants make contributions on behalf of a designated beneficiary, with no income restrictions or annual contribution limits (maximum lifetime account balance limit is $475,000).

Any earnings on contributions grow free of California state and federal tax as long as funds are used to pay for qualified higher education expenses, such as tuition and fees, certain room and board costs, computer equipment, books, and other required equipment.

To participate by payroll deduction, UC employees must follow a two-step process:

  • First, open a ScholarShare account online at the ScholarShare website or by sending in a completed account application (which can be downloaded online). You must make an initial deposit of $25 or more by check or electronic transfer from your bank. If you have an existing ScholarShare account, you may skip to the next step.
  • Next, authorize a payroll deduction (a minimum of $15 per investment option per pay period for each designated beneficiary) by completing a special UC-specific payroll deduction form, also available on the ScholarShare website. The payroll deduction form, called "ScholarShare College Savings Plan University of California (UC) Payroll Deduction Form," must be printed out, completed, and sent to ScholarShare at the address listed on the form.

For complete program information, visit the ScholarShare website or call the ScholarShare toll-free number (1-800-544-5248, available 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Pacific Time). Please mention that you are a UC employee.