The following is an article from the Massachusetts Education Financing Authority:
A Burlington student placed third-place in her grade level in a statewide art competition that promotes the importance of saving for college.
The Massachusetts Education Financing Authority (MEFA), the not-for-profit college financing expert that offers the U.Fund College Investing PlanSM, annually holds the College Savings Art Competition, which invites third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students at all public, private, charter, and home-based schools to submit artwork on the theme “What do I want to be when I graduate from college?”
Caitlyn Reed, a third-grader at the , placed third with her depiction of a rainforest biologist. To help pay future college expenses, Reed received $1,000 in a U.Fund College Investing Plan account, Massachusetts’ 529 college savings plan offered by MEFA and managed by Fidelity Investments.
“Every year, we are excited to see so many children across the Commonwealth participate in the Art Competition and share the dreams they have for the future,” said Thomas Graf, executive director of MEFA, which is celebrating 30 years of service to Massachusetts families and students. “The annual competition provides an opportunity to encourage those dreams, and talk with parents about how a college degree can help their children reach these goals. Starting to save for that college education early and regularly through a tax-advantaged vehicle like the U.Fund is an important step toward investing in their future.”
The student’s artwork was judged by representatives from MEFA, and the top three finishers in grades third, fourth and fifth were awarded a prize during a State House ceremony in late June. Second and third place finishers received $2,000 and $1,000 respectively, which was deposited in the student’s name in a U.Fund College Investing Plan account.
Since its inception, the MEFA College Savings Art Competition has received nearly 20,000 entries and awarded more than $190,000 in U.Fund College Investing Plan accounts.
The U. Fund College Investing Plan is a tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan specifically designed to accumulate savings for higher education. The U.Fund offers families nationwide the ability to save federal income tax-deferred for future education expenses at most accredited colleges and universities. Parents can start a U.Fund account with a low initial investment of $50 or $15/month with no restrictions on income, and additional relatives and friends can contribute to a single account benefiting a child.
The U.Fund, which was first introduced in 1999, has grown to more than 173,000 accounts totaling over $3.6 billion in college savings as of May 31, 2012.