Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan (OCSP)

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Tulsa toddler wins OCSP Newborn Sweepstakes

Adam Oonk gets head start on college savings
Oct 02, 2017
Kerry Alexander (left), with the Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan, and St. John Medical Center COO Jeff Nowlin (far right) present $5,529 for an OCSP account to Adam Oonk of Tulsa and his parents, Michael and Lauren Oonk. Adam Oonk was the winner of the 2016 OCSP Newborn Sweepstakes.

TULSA, OK — One lucky Tulsa child is getting a head start on college savings as the winner of the Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan’s annual Newborn Sweepstakes. Adam Oonk, born at St. John Medical Center in May of 2016, was randomly selected from among more than 1,200 entries as the winner of the statewide sweepstakes.

As winner, Adam received $5,529 toward an Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan (OCSP) account and St. John Medical Center received a $1,529 cash donation.

State Treasurer Ken Miller, board chair of OCSP, said the annual Newborn Sweepstakes is a chance to highlight the importance of making a plan to pay for college, and doing that sooner rather than later.

“It’s never too early to start saving for college,” Miller said. “The sooner families start saving, the more time their investment has to grow. The important thing is for families to develop a plan and put it into action. College costs continue to rise, so it’s important for families to be prepared.”

Adam is the seventh winner of the annual statewide sweepstakes, which launched in 2010. For the past six years, the Newborn Sweepstakes winner has been from the Tulsa area while the 2010 winner was from Oklahoma City. The 2010 winner Addison Wozniak born at Integris Baptist Medical Center, the 2011 winner Ryder Tackett born at St. John Medical Center, the 2012 winner Hannah Gabel born at St. John Medical Center, the 2013 winner Everett Majdan born at Saint Francis, the 2014 winner Riley Mow born at Saint Francis and the 2015 winner Shanleigh Frost born at Hillcrest Medical Center each won $5,529 toward an OCSP account and the winner’s hospital received $1,529. Since the launch of the Newborn Sweepstakes, over $38,000 has been awarded by OCSP for the future higher expenses of our youngest residents. In addition, OCSP has donated over $10,000 to Oklahoma hospitals as a part of this promotion.

Adam and his parents, Michael and Lauren Oonk, were recognized Monday afternoon during a presentation at St. John attended by hospital staff and dignitaries.

“We want to provide Adam with the opportunity to attend the college of his choice that will best educate and prepare him for his future career pursuits,” Michael said. “Our parents helped us in every way they could, financially and otherwise, and we want to be able to do the same for Adam.  The time value of money is a major advantage, if you begin saving early, to help offset the continued rising cost of attending college.”

Treasurer Miller said saving early for college can benefit a child throughout his or her life.

“Students today are graduating into adulthood saddled with debt, and that can make it difficult to buy a home or start a family,” Miller said. “By planning early, some or all of that debt can be avoided. Families would be surprised at how much can be saved by investing small amounts regularly over a period of years. Those small contributions really add up.”

The Newborn Sweepstakes continues this year, with entries now being accepted via the OCSP website: www.ok4saving.org. New parents or grandparents can go to the website for official rules, prize details and to enter for a chance to win. Parents or grandparents of a child born in 2017 will have until April 14, 2018, to enter. No purchase is necessary. Void where prohibited. Sponsored by OCSP. Funding for prizes comes from the OCSP marketing budget. No state funds are used.

About the OCSP

Oklahoma taxpayers may deduct from their Oklahoma adjusted gross income up to $10,000 in contributions to the Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan for individual taxpayers and up to $20,000 for taxpayers filing a joint return with a five-year carryforward. Read the Disclosure Booklet carefully.

Any earnings in an OCSP account are federal and Oklahoma income tax-deferred, and distributions are also federal and Oklahoma income tax-free when qualified withdrawals are made to fund an array of student expenses at most institutions of higher learning. Funds may be used at virtually any private or public university, college or career technology center nationwide.

Introduced in April 2000, the Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan had more than $810 million in total assets and more than 64,000 accounts, as September 15, 2017.

Consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses before investing in the Oklahoma College Savings Plan. Please visit www.ok4saving.org or call toll-free 1-877-654-7284 for a Plan Disclosure Booklet containing this and more information. Read it carefully.

Check with your home state to learn if it offers tax or other benefits for investing in its own 529 plan. Investments in the Plan are neither insured nor guaranteed and there is the risk of investment loss.

Taxpayers should seek advice based on their own particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor. If the funds aren't used for qualified higher education expenses, a 10% penalty tax on earnings (as well as federal and state income taxes) may apply.

Investments in the Plan are neither insured nor guaranteed and there is the risk of investment loss. TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc., Program Manager. TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC, member FINRA, distributor and underwriter for the Oklahoma College Savings Plan.

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