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Cardinals stress importance of saving for college

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The Cardinals celebrated "Save for Education Day" on Wednesday, as they teamed with St. Louis-based financial services firm Edward Jones to help educate Cards fans and the St. Louis community about 529 Plans and the rising cost of college education.

A 529 Plan is a tax-advantaged long-term investment designed specifically for future high-education expenses, but according to Edward Jones' research, only about one-third of Americans are aware 529 Plans exist.

"Without a doubt, the cost of college can be a daunting figure for families to navigate," said Greg Dosmann, a college savings expert at Edward Jones, in a release. "Tackling this goal over the long term can reduce much of the stress caused by those costs. We tell our clients that it can take a family to fund a 529 Plan, and by taking a long-term savings approach through a vehicle like a 529 Plan, families can chip away at the final costs over a period of 15 or more years."

Dosmann, whose children went to school with Cardinals manager Mike Matheny's, also threw out the first pitch prior to the Cardinals' 5-3 win over the Royals.

Not only did Dosmann want to put awareness out for 529 Plans in St. Louis because the firm is based there, but also because of Matheny's background. The former Major League veteran and second-year manager graduated from the University of Michigan even after being selected in the eighth round of the 1991 First-Year Player Draft by Milwaukee.

"In our business, it's very hard," Matheny said of earning a college degree. "Most of the kids get drafted, if they're lucky, by their junior year and have at least a couple semesters, sometimes four, left. So it's hard if you get the opportunity to play until your 30s.

"It's something I knew I had one chance to do it, so I was able to go back the following two offseasons. It's something I'm very proud of, being the first in my family to graduate from a major university, and something I'm certainly pushing my kids to do."

Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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