Contest gives Oklahoma families opportunity to share their college-saving stories
OKLAHOMA CITY – State Treasurer Ken Miller today announced an essay contest for Oklahomans participating in the Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan (OCSP). The inaugural “Making a Difference” essay contest encourages account holders and beneficiaries at least 16 years old to explain the ways in which the OCSP has affected or will affect their lives.
Treasurer Ken Miller, board chair for the Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan, said the contest’s goal is to showcase the actual impact saving for college through the OCSP has on real Oklahoma families.
“The benefits of the plan, including a state income tax deduction for contributions, can add up to make the difference between having funds set aside for college and having to take out loans,” Miller said. “No one knows this better than account holders who have already used more than $170 million from the plan to pay for college. Their stories may encourage and inspire other families to begin saving and planning for the future.”
Miller said account holders and beneficiaries at least 16 years of age can enter the contest online at www.ok4saving.org from now until Friday, Nov. 30. Eligible essays must be 300 words or less. The submissions will be divided into five groups according to the state’s congressional districts and each will be judged by a panel composed of state officials, the state treasurer’s office and the Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan.
Five winners will be selected based on how they respond to “How the OCSP has made, or will make a difference, in your family’s lives or the life of the beneficiary.” Other judging criteria include originality, creativity and organization.
The five winners will be announced in February 2013, and each winner will receive a contribution of $1,529 to their account.
“As an economist and educator, I’ve seen firsthand how higher education can empower people and change lives. I look forward to reading how the Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan is helping transform the lives of Oklahomans,” Miller said.
The OCSP currently contains $489.5 million in almost 50,000 accounts. Oklahoma families can deduct contributions up to $20,000 per year from their state taxable income and investment earnings are free from federal and state income tax if used for qualified expenses.
Please read the official rules for the judging criteria and other important contest details. For more information about the Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan or to open an account, visit the website at www.ok4saving.org or call 1-877-654-7284.
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For more information contact:
Tim Allen, Treasurer’s Office, (405) 522-4212
Kym Koch, Koch Communications, (405) 831-8668