Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority Expands Annual Art Competition

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The Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA) has expanded its annual art competition to encourage more families to discuss college dreams and start saving.

More students than ever now have a chance to win money for college with the expansion of the 9th annual College Savings Art Competition sponsored by MEFA. The contest, which awards U.Fund College Investing Plan accounts as prizes, is now open to Massachusetts children in grades K to 5.

“By expanding the art competition, more students have an opportunity to enter and win money for college while we are able to impress on a greater number of parents the importance of starting to save while their children are young,” said Thomas Graf, Executive Director of MEFA, the state’s non-profit authority on college savings and college financing solutions. “Parents who start saving early and often for college can really benefit from the growth of their savings over time, so we think it’s critical for families to get serious about saving for higher education while their children are in elementary school.”

As September is College Savings Month, the College Savings Art Competition is now accepting submissions of artwork depicting "What do I want to be when I graduate from college?" The contest, previously open only to students in grades 3, 4 and 5, now includes grades K, 1 and 2. Students must live in Massachusetts and may attend any public, private, charter or home-based school.

Nine finalists will be selected to receive three first-place prizes of $5,000 in a U.Fund College Investing Plan account; three second-place prizes of $2,000 in a U.Fund account; and three third-place prizes of $1,000 in a U.Fund account.

In the past eight years, MEFA’s College Savings Art Competition has received more than 17,000 entries and awarded $192,000 in U.Fund College Investing Plan accounts. The U.Fund is the Massachusetts 529 college investing plan that lets families save for higher education expenses at colleges and universities across the country, with significant tax advantages and flexible savings options managed by Fidelity Investments.

Information about the competition has been distributed to superintendents and principals across the Commonwealth, and MEFA has asked school districts to send competition information home to parents in student backpacks or via virtual backpacks.

The deadline for submitting artwork to MEFA is Oct. 31 at 5 p.m. Winners will be announced on or about March 31, 2013. For more information about the College Savings Art Competition, or to receive a copy of competition rules and entry forms, visit http://www.mefa.org/contest or call 1-800-449-MEFA

About MEFA

MEFA is a not-for-profit self-financing state authority, not reliant on state or federal appropriation that has been working for 30 years to make higher education more accessible and affordable for students and families in Massachusetts. MEFA was created by the state legislature at the request of Massachusetts colleges and universities and provides community education programs, college savings plans, and low-cost financing options. In its 30 year history, MEFA has assisted hundreds of thousands of families in financing a college education. For more information about MEFA, visit http://www.mefa.org or call 1-800-449-6332 (MEFA).

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Martha Savery

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