News & Press Releases
Account owners asked to describe how OCSP has made a difference
OKLAHOMA CITY — Officials with the Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan are calling for entries to the Making a Difference Essay Contest. Account owners are encouraged to share how saving for college has positively affected or will affect their lives.
Five winners will be chosen to win a $1,529 contribution to their Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan (OCSP) account. The Making a Difference Essay Contest runs Oct. 1 through Nov. 30.
State Treasurer Ken Miller, OCSP board chair, announced the contest today to encourage account holders and beneficiaries to share their stories as an inspiration to others.
“Education has a monumental impact on someone’s life, and it’s so important that families make a plan to pay for college,” Miller said. “The Oklahoma College Savings Plan serves nearly 50,000 beneficiaries and our hope is that some of their stories will inspire others to take action as well.”
“Saving for college doesn’t have to be intimidating,” Miller said. “OCSP has the tools and information available to help anyone get started.”
Five winners will be selected based on how they respond to the prompt, “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 submissions will be divided into five groups according to the state’s congressional districts and a panel of state legislators, the state treasurer’s office and OCSP officials will judge each essay. Judging will take place in February after lawmakers return to the State Capitol for the 2019 legislative session.
Eligible participants may enter the contest online at www.ok4saving.org/Difference from Oct. 1 to Nov. 30, 2018. Essays must be 300 words or less.
For those who do not currently have an OCSP account, it’s easy to open one. Parents, grandparents, relatives or friends who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents and at least 18 years old may open an OCSP account on behalf of a beneficiary, and the minimum initial contribution is only $100.
“I’ve learned from past essay contests that there are some amazing stories out there,” Miller said. “So many students dream big, and parents make incredible sacrifices to make those dreams come true. OCSP savers come from all walks of life, but they all have higher education goals and a plan to achieve them.”
This marks the fourth OCSP Making a Difference Essay Contest. The most recent contest saw more than 500 entries and 32 state legislators participated in the judging process.
The official rules, judging criteria and other important contest details, as well as more information about the Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan, can be found at www.ok4saving.org. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Sponsored by OCSP.
Funding for OCSP prizes comes from the marketing budget of the Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan; no state funds are used.
OCSP serves almost 30,000 account owners with more than $850 million in college savings assets. OCSP account owners make an average monthly contribution of $269 to their accounts. (Data through 12/31/17.) For more facts and figure about how Oklahomans are saving for college, click here.
About the OCSP
Introduced in April 2000, the Oklahoma 529 College Saving Plan (OCSP) is Oklahoma’s direct-sold 529 college savings plan. It is designed for families who want to direct their own 529 college savings accounts. The plan is managed by TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. Introduced in March 2009, OklahomaDream 529 Plan is offered through financial advisors and is managed by Allianz Global Investors. As of July 31, 2018, combined assets in both plans exceeded $1 billion.
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.
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 such as financial aid, scholarships and protection from creditors for investing in its own 529 plan. Investments in the Plan are neither insured nor guaranteed and there is the risk of investment loss.
Consult your legal or tax professional for tax advice, including the impact of the new federal tax changes. 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.
TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc., Program Manager. TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC, Member FINRA and SIPC, distributor and underwriter for the Oklahoma College Savings Plan.