Sentara hospitals were among 22 across Virginia to participate in the Virginia 529 celebration of College Savings Day.

Sentara hospitals celebrate Virginia 529 babies

Virginia 529 Baby

Sentara hospitals were among 22 across Virginia to participate in the Virginia 529 celebration of College Savings Day (on 5/29). Babies that were born on May 29, closest to 5:29 p.m. in each participating hospital received a $529 college savings account from Virginia 529 College Savings Plan.

“This is a fun way to remind parents and grandparents that these babies will be off to college before they know it,” said Mary G. Morris, CEO of Virginia 529. “We’re not trying to rush them, but the reality is 25 percent of people procrastinate when it comes to saving for the future educations of their children or grandchildren – and getting started early, even with small amounts, can make a big difference.”

Families were thrilled with the award and hospital staff were happy to present the gift on behalf of Virginia 529. The program is designed to raise awareness of the importance of saving for college. The cost of tuition continues to rise and saving early is more important than ever before.

“It’s a really nice award for a baby to get started thinking about their college future,” shared Sabrina Shiflett, director of the Family Birthplace at Sentara RMH. “Usually parents are really excited and very happy to receive the award, and it’s usually a surprise.”

Families received a certificate and Virginia 529 beanie in addition to the necessary paperwork to open their $529 college savings account. Virginia has the nation’s largest 529 plan, with over 2.2 million accounts and is one of only 11 states offering the prepaid tuition plan.