August 27, 2008

UA College Savings Plan offers incentives for new accounts in September

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2008

The University of Alaska College Savings Plan will provide a $50 Barnes & Noble gift card to everyone who opens and funds a new account during the month of September, proclaimed by Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as College Savings Plan Month.

The UA College Savings Plan---which can be used toward educational expenses at any eligible trade school, community college or university in the country---also will hold a $1,500 account deposit drawing for those who opened an account for their child, aged 14 or younger, at either the Tanana Valley State Fair in Fairbanks or the Alaska State Fair in Palmer.

"The beauty of the UA College Savings Plan is its flexibility," Gov. Palin said. "Distributions can be used for a wide range of educational expenses,including books, housing, tuition and fees and other expenses for traditional college programs, voc-tech programs and workforce training,either within Alaska or Outside. I encourage not only parents, but also grandparents and other family members, to consider opening an account for the special young people in their lives."

Last year's Barnes & Noble promotion resulted in nearly 300 new accounts. Linda Luper, executive director of the UA College Savings Plan, said she hopes to increase that number to 400 this year. "It's an aggressive goal, but we know Alaska families care about the future of their children," she said.

Luper said early family discussions about a child's future can have a major impact on the ultimate success rate of that child throughout high school and beyond. "The real value of a College Savings Plan account isn't necessarily the actual dollars saved, but rather the expectation that education and training beyond high school is essential in today's world," Luper said.

Research demonstrates that people with education beyond high school tend to be healthier, have lower divorce rates, participate more in their communities and live more fulfilling lives than those with high school diplomas only. According to the College Board, a non-profit membership association, a working person with a four-year college degree typically earns over 61 percent more than a worker with only a high school diploma. The College Board additionally reports that typical expected earnings over the working lives of four-year college graduates adds up to $1 million more than those with high school diplomas alone.

The UA College Savings Plan, one of the top-rated 529 plans in the country, is helping thousands of Alaska families save for future college expenses. T. Rowe Price, a well-known financial services provider, manages the plan on behalf of UA. Accounts in the plan grow tax-free, and distributions from accounts are tax free when used to pay for qualified college expenses.

Investors can open an account with as little as $50. Over 18,500 Alaskans currently hold accounts.  For more information, go to or call 1-888-4-ALASKA (1-888-425-2752).


For more information, call Linda Luper at 907/450-8115 or; or Nevada Bovee at 907/450-8087 or

Note: Certain restrictions on the Barnes & Noble gift card apply.  See for details. Barnes & Noble is not a sponsor or co-sponsor of this promotion. Please see back of gift card for terms and conditions of use.  Barnes & Noble is not liable for any alleged or actual claims related to this offer.

NR 12-08