News & Press Releases
A message from Oklahoma State Treasurer, Ken Miller
For nearly eight years I’ve encouraged Oklahoma families to save for college, and it’s been one of the most rewarding initiatives during my time as State Treasurer.
Assisting Oklahoma families with the tools they need to save for college–and helping young graduates enter the workforce without crushing debt–is a great step toward building a bright future for our state.
Since September is National College Savings Month, I want to take this last opportunity to encourage Oklahoma families to make a plan to pay for college. Many families have already gotten the message and acted. It’s gratifying to see how Oklahomans’ college savings have grown.
In the last eight years, the number of accounts in the Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan (OCSP) and the OklahomaDream 529 have increased by almost two-thirds to more than 77,000! Assets in the two plans now top $1 billion, an increase of more than 141 percent since 2010.
That represents $1 billion of college savings for Oklahomans, and that figure continues to grow.
Saving with an OCSP plan is more cost-effective than ever. Two rate cuts in 2014 and 2017 have lowered OCSP’s management costs from 40 basis points to 30 basis points. That means more of account holders funds go directly to college savings and less goes to managing the funds.
Oklahoma’s class of 2016 graduated from college with an average of nearly $26,000 in debt, and the cost of college continues to rise. That’s a heavy burden for anyone just starting out in the world, and there are simple steps families can take to lighten that load. Saving for college can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be.
Small amounts, invested regularly over time, can make a big difference by the time you’re moving into the freshmen dorms. But starting any time is preferable to never saving at all. It’s never too late to start and benefit from tax savings.
The key for families is sitting down to decide a course of action rather than putting it off. The OCSP website, ok4saving.org, has tools, calculators and other information that can get any family started saving.
Since its inception, nearly 23,000 students have paid for tuition and other expenses with more than $480 million in qualified OCSP withdrawals. Almost 50,000 beneficiaries currently have accounts.
All those involved in this initiative since inception should be proud that it has bettered thousands of lives. I know future state leaders will continue to build on this work for the benefit of our great state.
Time always goes by more quickly than one imagines. That’s especially true in parenthood. If you’ve been thinking about opening an OCSP account, or making a plan to pay for your children’s education, now is the time. Visit ok4saving.org for all information you need to get started.
To learn more about the Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan, its investment objectives, tax benefits, risks and costs, please see the Disclosure Booklet at ok4saving.org. Read it carefully. Investments in the Plan are neither insured nor guaranteed and there is the risk of investment loss.
TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC, Member FINRA and SIPC, distributor and underwriter for the Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan.