$500 Union Plus grant motivates UFCW family to save for college
After 37 years in the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), Michael Egan of Crystal Lake, IL, and Local 1546 thought he knew his union benefits inside and out. But even he was surprised to learn about $500 Union Plus grants that could help him save for his children’s college education. “I had never heard of anyone offering free money for college,” he laughs. “Leave it to Union Plus.”
Egan and his wife, Brenda, deposited $1,000 in a new 529 college savings plan, and within a few weeks Union Plus provided another $500 to help them save. “I was surprised how little time it took to get the Union Plus grant,” he says.
Union Plus College Savings Grants provide $500 to union members and retirees who open a new 529 college savings plan or pre-paid tuition account for their young children or grandchildren. The 529 account must have a balance of at least $1,000 and the beneficiary must be 12 years old or younger at the time the 529 account is opened.
Union Plus College Savings Grants may have been new to Egan, but the benefits of being union are something he has appreciated for many years. In his 37 years with UFCW he has enjoyed good pay, good benefits, and he is grateful to have a retirement plan to look forward to. “I can’t help thinking how different things would be without the UFCW,” he says. “I’m union all the way.”
As a father, Egan feels the responsibility to teach his daughters what he has learned. “I tell them you have to give back to the community,” he says, proudly noting that his daughters have volunteered in their church and helped raise money for leukemia research. “And I make sure they know they can thank the union for a lot of the benefits they enjoy.”
That’s a lesson both girls can take to heart. Corinne received a scholarship from the local to help pay for a laptop computer for school. And now Christina has gotten an extra $500 in college savings money, thanks to Union Plus.
Egan encourages union families — and all union members — to check out the Union Plus benefits available to them. “I went on the Union Plus website and there was tons of stuff. The discounts they offer are great. But still, when I saw $500 was available for my daughter’s education, I was shocked. I highly recommend Union Plus,” says Egan.
If you have a child or grandchild who is 12 or under and you are concerned about the cost of college, visit UnionPlus.org/Education to learn more about this union-member-only program. There, you’ll also learn about an array of Union Plus scholarships and other programs like these that can help you meet the high cost of paying college, and help prepare union members, their children and grandchildren for the future:
- $150,000 in Union Plus Scholarship awards are granted to students attending a two-year college, four-year college, graduate school or a recognized technical or trade school.
- $25,000 in scholarships to help union members and leaders obtain degrees at the National Labor College
- Save 15% - 60% on college and graduate school test preparation courses from The Princeton Review. Includes classroom, online and private tutoring for the SAT®, ACT®, GMAT®, LSAT®, GRE®, MCAT® as well as college affordability and admissions online courses. Visit UnionPlus.org/CollegePrep.
Visit UnionPlus.org/Education for more information.