Code Section Group

Education Code - EDC

TITLE 3. POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION [66000 - 101060]

  ( Title 3 enacted by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010. )

DIVISION 5. GENERAL PROVISIONS [66000 - 70110]

  ( Division 5 enacted by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010. )

PART 42. STUDENT FINANCIAL AID PROGRAM [69400 - 70110]

  ( Part 42 enacted by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010. )

CHAPTER 2. Student Financial Aid Programs [69500 - 70039]

  ( Chapter 2 enacted by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010. )

ARTICLE 19. Golden State Scholarshare Trust Act [69980 - 69994]
  ( Article 19 added by Stats. 1997, Ch. 851, Sec. 2. )

69980.
  

As used in this article, the following terms have the following meanings, unless the context requires otherwise:

(a) “Administrative fund” means the funds used to administer this article.

(b) “Beneficiary” has the same meaning as “designated beneficiary,” as provided in paragraph (1) of subsection (e) of Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as it is amended from time to time, if, as determined by the board, the amendment is consistent with the purposes of this article.

(c) “Benefits” means the payment of higher education expenses on behalf of a beneficiary by the Scholarshare trust during the beneficiary’s attendance at an institution of higher education.

(d) “Board” means the Scholarshare Investment Board established pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 69984.

(e) “Golden State Scholarshare College Savings Trust” or “Scholarshare trust” means the trust created pursuant to this article.

(f) “Executive director” means the administrator of the Scholarshare trust appointed by the board to administer and manage the Scholarshare trust.

(g) “Institution of higher education” has the same meaning as “eligible educational institution,” as provided in paragraph (5) of subsection (e) of Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as it is amended from time to time, if, as determined by the board, the amendment is consistent with the purposes of this article.

(h) “Investment manager” means a manager contracted to perform functions delegated by the board. “Investment management” means the functions performed by a manager contracted to perform functions delegated by the board.

(i) “Participant” means an individual, trust, estate, partnership, association, company or corporation, a custodian under the California Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (Part 9 (commencing with Section 3900) of Division 4 of the Probate Code) or similar provisions adopted by another state, a state or local government agency, or a legal representative of a participant who has entered into a participation agreement pursuant to this article. “Participant” also means an account owner.

(j) “Participation agreement” means an agreement between a participant and the Scholarshare trust, pursuant to this article.

(k) “Program fund” means the program fund established by this article, which shall be held as a separate fund within the Scholarshare trust.

(l) “Qualified higher education expenses” means the expenses of attendance at an institution of higher education as provided in paragraph (3) of subsection (e) of Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as it is amended from time to time, if, as determined by the board, the amendment is consistent with the purposes of this article, and as determined and certified by the institution of higher education in the same manner as prescribed in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1087l l, as amended).

(m) “Tuition and fees” means the quarterly or semester charges imposed to attend an institution of higher education and required as a condition of enrollment.

(Amended by Stats. 2005, Ch. 318, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2006.)

69981.
  

(a) There is hereby created an instrumentality of the State of California to be known as the Golden State Scholarshare College Savings Trust.

(b) The purposes, powers, and duties of the Scholarshare trust are vested in, and shall be exercised by, the board.

(c) The board, in the capacity of trustee, shall have the power and authority to do all of the following:

(1) Sue and be sued.

(2) Make and enter into contracts necessary for the administration of the Scholarshare trust.

(3) Adopt a corporate seal and change and amend it from time to time.

(4) Cause moneys in the program fund to be held and invested and reinvested.

(5) Enter into agreements with any institution of higher education or any federal or other state agency or other entity as required for the effectuation of its rights and duties.

(6) Accept any grants, gifts, appropriation, and other moneys from any unit of federal, state, or local government or any other person, firm, partnership, or corporation for deposit to the administrative fund or the program fund. Except as otherwise provided in Section 69982, the board may not accept any contribution by any nonpublic entity, person, firm, partnership, or corporation that is not designated for a specified beneficiary, unless the contribution is deposited in the CalSAVE account pursuant to subdivision (d).

(7) Enter into participation agreements with participants, as set forth in Section 69983.

(8) Make payments to institutions of higher education pursuant to participation agreements on behalf of beneficiaries.

(9) Make refunds to participants upon the cancellation of participation agreements pursuant to the provisions, limitations, and restrictions set forth in this article.

(10) Appoint an executive director, who shall serve at the pleasure of the board, and determine the duties of the executive director and other staff as necessary and set their compensation. The board may authorize the executive director to enter into contracts on behalf of the board or conduct any business necessary for the efficient operation of the board.

(11) Make provisions for the payment of costs of administration and operation of the Scholarshare trust.

(12) Carry out the duties and obligations of the Scholarshare trust pursuant to this article and have any and all other powers as may be reasonably necessary for the effectuation of the purposes, objectives, and provisions of this article.

(d) (1) There is established within the Scholarshare trust the California Scholarshare Advancement Vehicle for Education (CalSAVE) program to fund scholarships for beneficiaries to be determined by the board that may include, but are not limited to, foster youth, youth in at-risk categories, individuals with demonstrated economic need, former and active members of the California National Guard, individuals seeking undergraduate or postbaccalaureate courses in disciplines in which the state faces shortages, including nursing and teaching, and other categories to be determined by the board.

(2) The CalSAVE account is created within the program fund and is continuously appropriated, without regard to fiscal years, to the board for the purposes of the CalSAVE program. The board shall create subaccounts within the CalSAVE account for each category of beneficiary determined pursuant to paragraph (1). The CalSAVE account shall be funded by contributions from federal or local governments, or any other person, firm, partnership, or corporation, and from the administrative fund established pursuant to Section 69984. Any person contributing to the CalSAVE account may designate that his or her contribution be deposited into any subaccount within the CalSAVE account, or may contribute without any designation. The board shall apportion any undesignated funds among the subaccounts, taking into consideration factors, including, but not limited to, the number of eligible applications received seeking funding from a particular subaccount.

(e) The board shall adopt regulations as it deems necessary to implement this article consistent with the federal Internal Revenue Code and regulations issued pursuant to that code to ensure that this program meets all criteria for federal tax-deferral or tax-exempt benefits, or both.

(Amended by Stats. 2008, Ch. 474, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2009.)

69982.
  

In addition to the powers and authority granted pursuant to Section 69981, the board shall have the powers and authority to do all of the following:

(a) Carry out studies and projections in order to advise participants regarding present and estimated future higher education expenses and the levels of financial participation in the Scholarshare trust required in order to enable participants to achieve their education funding objectives.

(b) Contract for goods and services and engage personnel, including consultants, actuaries, managers, counsel, and auditors, as necessary for the purpose of rendering professional, managerial, and technical assistance and advice.

(c) Participate in any other way in any federal, state, or local governmental program for the benefit of the Scholarshare trust.

(d) Promulgate, impose, and collect administrative fees and charges in connection with transactions of the Scholarshare trust, and provide for reasonable service charges, including penalties for cancellations.

(e) Procure insurance against any loss in connection with the property, assets, or activities of the Scholarshare trust.

(f) Administer the funds of the Scholarshare trust.

(g) Procure insurance indemnifying any member of the board from personal loss or liability resulting from a member’s action or inaction as a member of the board.

(h) Adopt reasonable regulations for the administration of the Scholarshare trust.

(i) Set minimum and maximum investment levels.

(j) (1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the overall maximum investment level for a designated beneficiary shall not exceed the amount equivalent to the maximum estimated qualified higher education expenses, as defined by subdivision (l) of Section 69980 and established by the board, that can be incurred by a beneficiary. The maximum investment level shall be published by the board as a monetary amount, in order to state contribution limits clearly and to encourage participation on behalf of beneficiaries who will attend all types of higher education institutions, both public and independent.

(2) Contributions by entities exempt from taxation pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and state and local government agencies operating bona fide scholarship programs for the benefit of beneficiaries to be named when the scholarships are awarded are not subject to maximum contribution limits.

(Amended by Stats. 2005, Ch. 318, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2006.)

69983.
  

The Scholarshare trust may enter into participation agreements with participants on behalf of beneficiaries pursuant to the following terms and agreements:

(a) The board may specify a required minimum length of time before distributions for higher education expenses may be made, and may impose a penalty on the early distribution of funds if deemed by the board to be necessary.

(b) Beneficiaries designated in participation agreements may be designated from date of birth.

(c) Participants shall be informed that the execution of a participation agreement by the Scholarshare trust shall not guarantee in any way that higher education expenses will be equal to projections and estimates provided by the Scholarshare trust or that the beneficiary named in any participation agreement will do any of the following:

(1) Be admitted to an institution of higher education.

(2) If admitted, be determined a resident for tuition purposes by the institution of higher education.

(3) Be allowed to continue attendance at the institution of higher education following admission.

(4) Graduate from the institution of higher education.

(5) Have sufficient savings to cover fully all qualified education expenses of attending an institution of higher education.

(d) Beneficiaries may be changed as permitted by the regulations of the board upon request of the participant, provided that the substitute beneficiary is eligible.

(e) Participation agreements shall be freely amended throughout their terms in order to enable participants to change the designation of beneficiaries and carry out similar matters.

(f) Each participation agreement shall provide that the participation agreement may be canceled upon the terms and conditions set forth and contained in the regulations adopted by the board.

(g) All contributions to Scholarshare accounts shall be in cash.

(Amended by Stats. 2005, Ch. 318, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 2006.)

69984.
  

(a) (1) The board shall segregate moneys received by the Scholarshare trust into two funds, which shall be identified as the program fund and the administrative fund. Notwithstanding Section 13340 of the Government Code, the program fund is hereby continuously appropriated, without regard to fiscal years, to the board for the purposes of this article. Funds in the administrative fund shall be available for expenditure, upon appropriation, for the purposes specified in this article.

(2) (A) The board shall separately account for any moneys received by an entity exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or a state or local government agency, depositing the money for the benefit of a beneficiary to be named later pursuant to the operation of a bona fide scholarship program.

(B) There is hereby created the Scholarshare Investment Board, that consists of the Treasurer, the Director of Finance, the executive director of the State Board of Education, a member of the Student Aid Commission appointed by the Governor, a member of the public appointed by the Governor, a representative from a California public institution of higher education appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules, and a representative from a California independent college or university or a state-approved college, university, or vocational/technical school appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly. The Treasurer shall serve as chair of the board. The board shall annually prepare and adopt a written statement of investment policy. The board shall consider the statement of investment policy and any changes in the investment policy at a public hearing. The board shall approve the investment management entity or entities consistent with subparagraph (D).

(C) Not later than 30 days after the close of each month, the investment manager shall place on file for public inspection during business hours a report with respect to investment performance. The investment manager shall report the following information, to the extent applicable, to the board within 30 days following the end of each month:

(i) The type of investment, name of the issuer, date of maturity, par and dollar amount invested in each security, investment, and money within the program fund.

(ii) The weighted average maturity of the investments within the program fund.

(iii) Any amounts in the program fund that are under the management of an investment manager.

(iv) The market value as of the date of the report and the source of this valuation for any security within the program fund.

(v) A description of the compliance with the statement of investment policy.

(D) Moneys in the program fund may be invested or reinvested by the Treasurer or may be invested in whole or in part under contract with an investment manager, as determined by the board.

(b) Transfers may be made from the program fund to the administrative fund for the purpose of paying operating costs associated with administering the Scholarshare trust and as required by this article. On an annual basis, expenditures from the administrative fund shall not exceed more than 1 percent of the total program fund. All costs of administration of the Scholarshare trust shall be paid out of the administrative fund.

(c) All moneys paid by participants in connection with participation agreements shall be deposited as received into the program fund, and shall be promptly invested and accounted for separately. Deposits and interest thereon accumulated on behalf of participants in the program fund of the Scholarshare trust may be used for payments to any institution of higher education.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 349, Sec. 8. Effective January 1, 2012.)

69985.
  

(a) Any participant may cancel a participation agreement at will. A participant shall be entitled to a refund upon cancellation thereof of an amount equal to the then current market value of the amount of all contributions made to his or her account.

(b) Upon the occurrence of any of the following circumstances, no penalty shall be levied by the Scholarshare trust in the event of cancellation of a participation agreement:

(1) Death or disability of the beneficiary.

(2) The beneficiary’s receipt of a scholarship or allowance or payment described in Section 25A(g)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code received by the designated beneficiary, to the extent that the amount refunded does not exceed the amount of the scholarship, allowance, or payment.

(c) In the event of cancellation of a participation agreement for any of the causes listed in subdivision (b), the participant shall be entitled to a refund equal to the then current market value of the amount of all contributions made by the participant under the participation agreement.

(d) Any cancellation of a participation agreement shall be deemed to be made as of the close of business for the calendar month during which notice of the cancellation is received by the board, and the current market value of contributions as of that date shall be determined by utilizing the monthly report for that month pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 69984.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 406, Sec. 4. Effective September 9, 2002.)

69986.
  

For all purposes of California law, the following apply:

(a) The participant shall retain ownership of all contributions made under any participation agreement up to the date of utilization for payment of higher education costs for the beneficiary, and all interest derived from the investment of the payments made by the participant shall be deemed to be held in Scholarshare trust for the benefit of the beneficiary. Neither the contributions, nor any interest derived therefrom, may be pledged as collateral for any loan.

(b) If the participation agreement is canceled prior to payment of higher education expenses for the beneficiary, the participant shall retain ownership of all contributions made under the participation agreement and reversionary right to receive interest on all the contributions at the rate of interest at which the contributions were invested.

(c) Notwithstanding subdivision (b), if there has been a decrease in the value of the funds in a participant’s account at the time of cancellation of the participation agreement, the participant shall not have ownership rights to any amount above the market value of the funds in the account at the time of cancellation.

(d) The board shall develop adequate measures to prevent contributions on behalf of a designated beneficiary in excess of the maximum contribution limits provided for in this article.

(e) If the beneficiary graduates from an institution of higher education and has no intention of further attendance at an institution of higher education, and a balance remains in the participant’s account, then the Scholarshare trust shall pay the balance to the participant.

(f) The board shall develop a method to make payment of qualified higher education expenses directly to higher education institutions for the benefit of designated beneficiaries and to control for fraud under any direct reimbursement method of payment that it may adopt. The institution of higher education shall obtain ownership of the payments made for the higher education expenses paid to the institution at the time each payment is made to the institution.

(g) The board may also develop a method to make payment of qualified higher education expenses directly to beneficiaries in a manner that is consistent with applicable federal requirements and restrictions.

(h) Any amounts paid pursuant to the Scholarshare trust that are not listed in this section shall be owned by the Scholarshare trust.

(i) A participant may transfer ownership rights to another eligible participant, including, but not necessarily limited to, a gift of the ownership rights to an eligible minor beneficiary pursuant to this article. The transfer shall be effected and the property distributed in accordance with administrative regulations adopted by the board or the terms of the participation agreement.

(j) Custodians for a minor under the California Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (Part 9 (commencing with Section 3900) of Division 4 of the Probate Code) or similar provisions adopted by another state may enter into participation agreements in accordance with regulations adopted by the board.

(Amended by Stats. 2005, Ch. 318, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 2006.)

69989.
  

(a) The board shall submit an annual audited financial report, prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, on the operations of the Scholarshare trust by October 31 to the Governor, the Controller, the State Auditor, and the Legislature. The annual audit shall be made by an independent certified public accountant, and shall include, but need not be limited to, direct and indirect costs attributable to the use of outside consultants, independent contractors, and any other persons who are not state employees. Any contributions to the Scholarshare trust that are not directed to a specified beneficiary shall be accounted for and treated separately in the annual audit.

(b) The annual audit shall be supplemented by the following information prepared by the board:

(1) Any studies or evaluations prepared in the preceding year.

(2) A summary of the benefits provided by the Scholarshare trust, including the number of participants and beneficiaries in the Scholarshare trust.

(3) Any other information that is relevant in order to make a full, fair, and effective disclosure of the operations of the Scholarshare trust.

(Amended by Stats. 2005, Ch. 318, Sec. 7. Effective January 1, 2006.)

69990.
  

(a) The board shall provide an annual listing of distributions to individuals with respect to an interest in a participation agreement to the Franchise Tax Board at a time and in a manner and form as specified by the Franchise Tax Board. The taxpayers’ identification numbers obtained through the participation agreement process shall be used exclusively for state and federal tax administration purposes.

(b) The board shall make a report to the appropriate individual of any distribution to any individual with respect to an interest in a participation agreement, at a time and in a form and manner as required by the Franchise Tax Board.

(c) The board also shall report annually to each participant or beneficiary all of the following:

(1) The value of the beneficiary’s account.

(2) The interest earned thereon.

(3) The rate of return of the investments in the beneficiary’s account for that reporting period.

(4) Information on investments and education costs that participants can use to set savings goals and contribution amounts.

(5) Information regarding the trends in qualified higher education expenses at the state’s public segments of higher education, which shall include, but need not be limited to, the following:

(A) The actual increase or decrease in qualified higher education expenses in the prior year.

(B) To the extent possible, any proposals by the segments to increase or decrease fees or tuition in the next fiscal year.

(C) To the extent possible, any proposals by the Legislature or the Governor to increase or decrease fees or tuition in the next fiscal year.

(D) An Internet Web site and toll-free telephone number where the names of the State Senator and Assembly Member who represent the district in which the participant or beneficiary resides, and a business address and telephone number where they may be reached, may be accessed.

(d) The board, as an advocate for affordable higher education opportunities for participants and beneficiaries of the program, shall also provide a means for participants or beneficiaries to express concerns or comments regarding the Scholarshare trust program and any information required to be reported by this section.

(Amended by Stats. 2005, Ch. 318, Sec. 8. Effective January 1, 2006.)

69991.
  

The assets of the trust, including the program fund, shall at all times be preserved, invested, and expended solely and only for the purposes of the trust and shall be held in trust for the participants and beneficiaries and no property rights therein shall exist in favor of the state. The assets shall not be transferred or used by the State of California for any purposes other than the purposes of the trust.

(Added by Stats. 1997, Ch. 851, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1998.)

69992.
  

The board shall aggressively market this program to the citizens of the State of California. The board shall include in its marketing efforts information designed to educate citizens about the benefits of saving for higher education and information to help them decide the level of Scholarshare participation and the combination of savings strategies that may be appropriate for them. The board shall also develop a mechanism to keep participants in this program motivated about their current and future academic endeavors.

(Amended by Stats. 2005, Ch. 318, Sec. 9. Effective January 1, 2006.)

69993.
  

Funding for startup and first-year administrative costs shall be appropriated from the General Fund in the annual Budget Act. The board shall repay, within five years, the amount appropriated, plus interest calculated at the rate earned by the Pooled Money Investment Account. Necessary administrative costs in future years shall be paid out of the administrative fund.

(Amended by Stats. 2005, Ch. 318, Sec. 10. Effective January 1, 2006.)

69993.5.
  

The board may adopt regulations for the purposes of this chapter as emergency regulations in accordance with the rulemaking provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code). For the purposes of the Administrative Procedure Act, including Section 11349.6 of the Government Code, the adoption of the regulations shall be deemed to be an emergency and necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, or general welfare, notwithstanding subdivision (e) of Section 11346.1 of the Government Code. Notwithstanding subdivision (e) of Section 11346.1 of the Government Code, any regulation adopted pursuant to this section shall not remain in effect more than 180 days unless the board complies with rulemaking provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code), as required by subdivision (e) of Section 11346.1 of the Government Code.

(Amended by Stats. 1999, Ch. 664, Sec. 9. Effective January 1, 2000.)

69993.7.
  

No public funds nor any funds available pursuant to this article may be expended to pay for, nor shall the board enter into any agreement that provides for, the appearance of any elected official or declared candidate for public office in any paid advertisement promoting the act.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 664, Sec. 10. Effective January 1, 2000.)

69994.
  

This act shall be construed liberally in order to effectuate its legislative intent. The purposes of this act and all of its provisions with respect to powers granted shall be broadly interpreted to effectuate that intent and purposes and not as to any limitation of powers.

(Added by Stats. 1997, Ch. 851, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1998.)

EDCEducation Code - EDC19.