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Governor Knowles Proclaims September "College Savings Month"

Submitted by Nile Mueller
Phone: (907) 474-5467

09/11/02

Governor Tony Knowles has proclaimed September as "College Savings Month in Alaska," and he's urging families to plan ahead for the cost of college attendance, and to take advantage of the University of Alaska College Savings Plan.

"Assisting families, friends, and businesses as they seek to fund the education of our young people is in Alaska's best interest," the Governor said in his proclamation. "Government can be an important partner in that effort by maintaining access to postsecondary education for our children, and by encouraging parents to plan ahead for their children's education.

"With a college savings plan that is one of the premier programs in the country, the State of Alaska is uniquely poised to help, Knowles said. The UA Savings Program makes it easier and more affordable for families to get a head start toward saving for an education.

The savings plan offers Alaskans tax advantaged options for college savings. Earnings on these accounts will be federally tax exempt when they are used for qualified educational expenses at the University of Alaska or any eligible college or university in the country. Investment options in the Plan include age-based portfolios, static portfolios, and the ACT Portfolio.

The age-based portfolios range from 100 percent stock portfolios for students who are more than a decade away from college enrollment, to a portfolio with a 20 percent stock fund/80percent bond and money market fund mix for students about to enter college. These portfolios, designed by T. Rowe Price, are managed more conservatively as the child approaches college. For example, portfolios for younger children emphasize stock funds to help protect against inflation then gradually move into bond and money market funds as the child gets closer to entering college. In addition, the plan includes four static portfolio investment choices, which have stock and bond fund asset allocations that do not change. These include an equity portfolio, a fixed income portfolio, a balanced portfolio and a preservation portfolio.

Total assets under management by the plan have reached $410 million. There are 62,000 accounts in the plan, and 6,000 Alaskans have checked the College Savings Plan box on the Permanent Fund Dividend application form.

For more information about the University of Alaska College Savings Plan, call 1-866-277-1005 or visit the Web site at www.uacollegesavings.com. It's possible to enroll in the program online, and participants can check their balances online.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Linda English, 907-474-5927