Idaho State Treasurer's Office
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5/4/2012  -  May 29th is College Savings Day

IDAHO TREASURER RON CRANE ANNOUNCES OVER $3,150 IN PRIZES FOR IDAHO FAMILIES TO CELEBRATE 529 COLLEGE SAVINGS DAY®

Boise, ID - Idaho Treasurer Ron Crane and the Idaho College Savings Program Board rally Idahoans to save for college on 529 College Savings Day (May 29). To encourage parents and grandparents to save for college, several generous Idaho companies are encouraging new and existing IDeal — Idaho College Savings Program (IDeal) account owners to save for higher education, by offering a chance to win one of six prizes of $529, a total of more than $3,150 for IDeal account owners.

"With so much focus on student loan debt, it’s more important than ever before to prepare early for higher education expenses, and to be able to do so in a tax-deferred way just makes good financial sense," says Treasurer Crane.

During the entire month of May, any Idaho resident who opens a new IDeal account will be automatically entered into the 529 College Savings Day drawing. An IDeal account can be opened with a minimum contribution of $25. Additionally, existing Idaho account owners who make a contribution of $100 or more to their IDeal accounts during the month of May will also be automatically entered in the drawing.

Four Idaho organizations are sponsoring the contest this year including Norco, Citi, Sorrento Lactalis, Inc., and the Micron Foundation. Norco is contributing three $529 grand prizes for the third consecutive year.

"The employees of Norco place a high priority on education when deciding how to spend our charitable dollars through the Kissler Family Foundation. What better way to support education than to encourage families to start saving early for their children’s ongoing learning after high school," stated Jim Kissler, CEO of Norco, Inc.

This is also the third year in a row for Citi to contribute one $529 prize to encourage Idaho families to save for college. In addition, Sorrento Lactalis, Inc., and the Micron Foundation will each contribute one $529 prize.

IDeal is led by Treasurer Crane’s office and the Idaho College Savings Program Board, and is managed by Upromise Investments, Inc. IDeal helps families save for qualified higher education costs and offers additional tax advantages to Idaho families. More than 11,300 families have saved over $227 million for their children’s futures through IDeal. The goal of the IDeal 529 College Savings Day drawing is to increase awareness of the importance of saving for higher education and to encourage families to start saving as soon as possible.

IDeal accounts grow tax-deferred and withdrawals used for qualified higher educational costs are not subject to federal and Idaho state income tax. Idaho taxpayers who invest in IDeal accounts also qualify for a state tax deduction of up to $4,000 per year ($8,000 if married, filing jointly).

Assets in an IDeal account can be used at any eligible 2- or 4-year college, university, vocational institute, or technical school in the United States or abroad. Savings in an IDeal account can be used for qualified higher education costs, such as tuition, certain room and board costs, books, and mandatory fees. Benefits of IDeal include:

  • Ten investment options, including three (3) age-based options and six (6) fixed asset allocation portfolios, based on a family's investing preferences and risk tolerance, all managed by The Vanguard Group, Inc.
  • A new Savings Portfolio which is FDIC-insured, managed by Sallie Mae Bank.
  • A low minimum initial contribution amount of $25 ($15 through payroll deduction, where available).
  • Additional ways to save with Ugift® - Give College Savings and Upromise®. Ugift makes it easy for family and friends to give directly into IDeal accounts. IDeal account owners have received over $800,000 from family and friends using Ugift.
  • Upromise is free to join and families can earn extra money for college with everyday eligible purchases when they shop online, dine out, book travel and even buy or sell a home. When IDeal account owners link their Upromise rewards account to their IDeal account, their Upromise earnings will be automatically transferred on a periodic basis.
  • Virtual 24/7 online account access at www.idsaves.org, which allows account owners to open accounts, make additional contributions, perform withdrawals, change investment allocations, manage bank information, and more.

For more information on IDeal, please visit www.idsaves.org or call 1-866-433-2533.