October Marks Arizona College Savings Month

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Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education Raises Awareness for AZ529 Plans and the Importance of Higher Education

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“With the rising costs of postsecondary education, the majority of families will have to plan ahead in order to meet the challenges of paying for any level of higher education,” said Dr. April Osborn, Executive Director for The Commission.

In celebration of College Savings Month, the Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education (The Commission) is partnering with several local organizations to increase financial awareness around the state and introduce children and families to key concepts about saving money for college. The Commission continuously works to educate parents, grandparents, soon-to-be mothers and fathers and family members about the benefits of 529 plans and importance of higher education.

This month The Commission will host interactive information tables at The Arizona Science Center - October 12, Boo at the Zoo – October 19 and the Y Race – October 20. The annual “Picture Yourself After College” coloring contest will again be held throughout the month of October, giving children a chance to win a $250 scholarship.

Did you know?

  •     Today’s incoming kindergartners will need about a quarter of a million dollars to attend a four-year college
  •     While nearly all parents believe college is an investment in their child’s future, only one-third have a plan to pay for college
  •     AZ529 plans can be started with as little as $15 per month
  •     All accredited institutions in the United Sates are eligible for 529 plans, whether its a vocational or training program, “brick and mortar” or online college or university
  •     Assets in a 529 plan are owned by parents, not the child, and therefore cannot be considered when determining eligibility for Arizona student financial aid
  •     Unlike other college savings options, a 529 plan account owner controls the account and its distributions no matter the age of the beneficiary/child.
  •     Children with any college savings are six times more likely to attend a four-year college than children with no dedicated college savings account

“With the rising costs of postsecondary education, the majority of families will have to plan ahead in order to meet the challenges of paying for any level of higher education,” said Dr. April Osborn, Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education Executive Director. “The recent increased tax break will entice even more families to participate in 529 plans and offset the burden of paying for college.”

For 2013, Arizona lawmakers expanded the state income tax deduction for contributions to 529 plans from $750 to $2,000 for single or head of household and from $1,500 to $4,000 for married couples filing jointly. The AZ529 plan offers one of the widest arrays of investment options through three highly regarded financial institutions: College Savings Bank, Fidelity Investments and Waddell & Reed’s Ivy Funds InvestEd. To learn more about the AZ529 program, its financial providers and the upcoming events visit http://www.AZ529.gov.

About Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education
The Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education’s mission is to expand access to and to increase success in postsecondary education. The Commission is the state’s administrator for the Arizona Family College Savings Program, administers student financial aid programs, hosts College Goal Sunday, as well as numerous other postsecondary education initiatives. For more information on the Commission visit http://www.azhighered.gov.

About AZ529 Plans
A 529 plan is a flexible investment plan designed to encourage saving for future higher education expenses of a designated beneficiary. AZ529 plans offers a wide variety of college savings choices such as FDIC Insured CD’s, mutual funds, indexed funds, age-based and static portfolios. Funds from AZ529 plans can be used at accredited institutions eligible through the U.S. Department of Education anywhere in the country and some abroad. This includes two-year and four-year public or private colleges, universities, community colleges or technical and vocational training schools. http://www.az529.gov

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Media Contact: Amber Liptai, Martz Agency | aliptai(at)martzagency(dot)com | 480-998-3154

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Amber Liptai
Martz Agency
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