UA College Savings Plan announces $25,000 and $2,500 scholarship account winners
Photo by Andre Horton
Sixteen-year-old Cami Wood of Anchorage was randomly selected to win a $25,000 scholarship account in the UA College Savings Plan. Four more Alaskans from throughout the state won $2,500 scholarship accounts.
All Permanent Fund Dividend applicants who checked “yes” to question number six of their PFD application were automatically entered into the annual scholarship account drawing. The PFD checkoff asks residents if they would like to automatically contribute half of their dividend into a UA College Savings Plan account. The Education Trust of Alaska, established to administer the college savings program, funds the scholarship account giveaway.
“Cami was thrilled to get this scholarship,” said Cami’s mother, Louise Wood. “She is a junior at South High School and hasn’t chosen a college, but she is excited that this may fund more options.”
The winners of the $2,500 scholarship accounts are:
Hunter Dewall, 10, Anchorage
AJ Inthapanya-Yabut, 11, Anchorage
Jazlyn Fix, 9, Tok
Mizen Deraimer, 5, Juneau
The UA College Savings Plan has offered the scholarship account giveaway for the last four years. The drawing aims to give Alaska families an extra incentive to save their Permanent Fund Dividends for higher education expenses. More than 12,100 residents contributed to the UA College Savings Plan through the PFD check off this year, an increase of almost 1,000 people from the prior year. The plan has seen a 54 percent increase from the number of contributors since 2009, before the giveaway began.
“We encourage parents and grandparents to help build a child’s college savings account by contributing their PFDs as well,” said Lael Oldmixon, executive director of the College Savings Plan. She noted that family members participating in the checkoff increase a family’s odds of winning the drawing. “Last year a grandmother won and assigned her winnings to her granddaughter,” Oldmixon said.
The UA College Savings Plan will offer the scholarship account giveaway again next year to residents who contribute half of their 2014 PFD to the plan through the official application, which may be completed online or by visiting a distribution center. The application period runs Jan. 1 through March 31, 2014.
Beneficiaries in the Plan may use their funds to pay for education expenses at any eligible college, university, or vocational/technical school in Alaska or the Lower 48. Families can open a tax-advantaged account with their PFD contribution, or with as little as $50 a month.
For more information about the PFD, go to http://www.pfd.state.ak.us. To learn more about the UA College Savings Plan and the $25,000 Scholarship Account Giveaway, go to http://www.uacollegesavings.com.