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May 29, 2016 is national 529 College Savings Day

by Lael Oldmixon

Today’s families have a tax advantaged way to save for their child’s education through 529 college savings plan accounts. When our first child was born we opened a UA College Savings Plan account with his Permanent Fund Dividend by checking “Yes” on question 6 of the PFD application. This is a simple way to save and as a bonus, a contributor is randomly selected each year to win a $25,000 scholarship account which can be used at almost any college, university, technical or trade school in the US.

May 29, 2016 is national 529 College Savings Day. The UA College Savings Plan is celebrating this date with college savings plans across the country. As the director of Alaska’s college savings program, I would like to invite you to reflect on the importance of saving for college. 

Consider the following:

  1. Savings have the potential to go further in a 529 plan than other investment accounts because earnings are tax deferred and tax free if the account is used for qualified higher education expenses such as tuition, books, fees, room and board. You can use savings in conjunction with scholarships and other financial aid. There are no income or age limitations and you can use the funds at accredited colleges and vocational schools throughout the country (and even a few internationally).
     
  2. You can begin saving into a UA College Savings Plan with as little as $25 a month. One option is to save automatically through payroll deduction. It’s easy to sign up with the Payroll Deduction Request Form. You can also set up automatic contributions from your bank account or contribute by check.
     
  3. Anyone can contribute to your college savings plan account. Share gift contribution slips with friends and family and encourage them to give a gift that will last a lifetime. You can mail contribution slips to your relatives (grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.) to encourage them to contribute to the college savings accounts for birthdays, graduations – you name it. Let’s face it, the last thing kids need is another toy, quickly forgotten, and with 200+ tiny pieces to clean up.

This 529 Day, I hope you will take a moment to explore the UA College Savings Plan, talk about planning for college with your kids, and join our Facebook community. As always, our team is here to answer any questions about the program (907-474-5671) and you can find out more by visiting www.uacollegesavings.com.

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