Whitebead student wins in college savings plan contest

POSTED MAY 23, 2019

A student at Whitebead Elementary School in Pauls Valley was presented a check for $1,529 last week as she was deemed a winner in the Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan’s Change the World contest.

Kaia Patton entered the contest earlier this year. She was one of eight winners selected to receive a prize of $1,529 toward an OCSP account. What’s even better is that her school will also receive $500! Patton won for her drawing showing that she’ll change the world after college by becoming a veterinarian.

If your son or daughter has ever stared you straight in the face and said they are going to be an inventor or help kids by becoming a teacher, they could win a $1,529 contribution to an Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan (OCSP) account. OCSP’s Change the World contest is for young Oklahomans who want to dream big and change the world after they attend college.

“The Change the World contest is the perfect opportunity for parents and teachers to turn conversations that children share about their future dreams into college savings,” said State Treasurer Randy McDaniel, who serves as OCSP board chair. “Some of those ambitions may sound far-fetched now, but many students have the potential to make those dreams a reality if we encourage conversations about college, hard work and saving at an early age.”

Families of students in pre-K through sixth grade can enter the Change the World contest through March 31. Students are encouraged to describe how they will change the world after college through submitting an original video, poem, essay or drawing. Eight winners will receive a $1,529 OCSP account and each winner’s school will receive $500.

According to The Institute for College Access and Success, graduates from Oklahoma universities had an average of nearly $26,000 in debt in 2017. McDaniel said beginning to save at any time is smart, but saving earlier gives OCSP accounts more time to grow, which ultimately means students can graduate from college with less debt. Additionally, contributions made to an OCSP account by the 2018 tax deadline, Monday, April 15, are eligible for deductions on 2018 Oklahoma state income tax returns. Contributions are generally tax deductible up to $10,000 per year for a single return and $20,000 per year for a joint return.

Eight winners will be selected for the Change the World contest based on their demonstration of how they will change the world after earning a college degree. Other judging criteria include originality, creativity, design and organization. All participants must submit an official Change the World Contest entry form along with a video, poem, essay or drawing. Participants can submit entries online.

A panel of judges will select two winners per every two grades. Officials hope to recognize winning students and schools later this year. Entries can be submitted starting February 1 and must be received by 5 p.m. on March 31. Official Change the World rules, judging criteria, other important contest details and more information about the OCSP can be found at www.ok4saving.org/ChangetheWorld. 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. 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, Oklahoma Dream 529 Plan is offered through financial advisors and is managed by Allianz Global Investors. As of December 31, 2018, combined assets in both plans totaled nearly $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.