March 22, 2001

University of Alaska and T. Rowe Price Announce Expanded College Savings Plan for Alaskans

March 22, 2001  NR 05-01

The University of Alaska and T. Rowe Price Associates, one of the nation's largest managers of no-load mutual funds, today announced an expanded college savings program that will provide Alaskans with more flexibility and substantial tax benefits to help families save for a college education.

The new University of Alaska College Savings Plan, which becomes effective in May, incorporates the existing Advance College Tuition (ACT) program and offers a number of additional features.

Alaska Rep. Lisa Murkowski, one of the original sponsors of the legislation that created the program said, "This program provides parents, grandparents, or anyone else the opportunity to financially prepare for a childÕs college education and obtain valuable tax benefits at the same time."

The full value of an account can be applied toward college expenses at the University of Alaska or any eligible college or vocational school in the country. In addition, the ACT program, with its UA Tuition Value Guarantee, will continue to enable those who send their children to the University of Alaska the opportunity to virtually lock-in future UA college tuition at today's cost.

Participants can invest in excess of $200,000 for a student's college education starting with as little as $250 (or $50 each month through systematic payments). Investments grow tax-deferred and when withdrawn for college expenses earnings are taxed at the child's tax rate. Participants can choose from a host of investment portfolios managed by T. Rowe Price.

"We were very fortunate to find a firm with their performance record and reputation for integrity to partner with the university in offering this program," said University President Mark Hamilton. The portfolios were designed by experts at T. Rowe Price to meet a wide range of student and participant needs, depending on the age of the child, educational plans, and a participant's willingness to accept risk. "We are very gratified to be selected by the University of Alaska for this college savings program," said James Riepe, a Vice-Chairman of T. Rowe Price. "We appreciate the tremendous responsibility to manage these assets prudently. We realize we are not just managing portfolios, but are mindful that the opportunity for a college education for many children is our real focus here. We take that responsibility seriously and appreciate the confidence the University has placed in us."

For more information about the College Savings Plan, residents should call the University at 1-800-478-0003. T. Rowe Price will also be managing a national version of the Alaska plan under the T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan name. This plan will also be available for contributions by early May 2001.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Linda Milliken, 907-474-5927
NR 5-01