Hawai‘i college savings plan

Lt. Governor James R. “Duke” Aiona Jr. today announced a significant increase in response to HI529 n Hawai‘i’s College Savings Program, the state-sponsored plan designed to help Hawai‘i families save for their children’s college education.

The program currently holds an estimated $41.1 million in 3,646 accounts, according to the state Department of Budget and Finance. Those figures have risen since 2006, when the program held $38.5 million in 3,373 accounts.

Lt. Governor Aiona attributed the increase to recent improvements to the program, which has reduced its annual administrative fee and expanded its menu of investment options for parents and grandparents concerned about the rising cost of college.

The improvements follow the hiring in December 2007 of Upromise Investments, Inc. to manage Hawai‘i’s college savings program, which allows families to save for their children’s college education and later withdraw the money free of federal tax for qualified expenses such as tuition and books. The growing interest in the program coincides with a national focus during September on the importance of saving for college.

“This program is about helping to make going to college a possibility for all students in Hawai‘i by reducing the financial burden placed on families looking to provide their children with a college education,” Lt. Governor Aiona said. “The rising cost of college has brought into sharp focus the importance of this program to our families and our future.”

Mark Chapleau, president of Upromise Investments, welcomed the positive response to the program’s efforts to encourage Hawai‘i families to start saving for college.

“We are committed to supporting Hawai‘i’s mission,” Chapleau said. “Many residents of Hawai‘i have already taken the first important step of funding a HI529 account.”

The program, named after the section of the federal tax code that created it in the mid-1990s, provides tax benefits to anyone saving for college tuition, usually for their children.

For more information about HI529 n Hawai‘i’s College Savings Program, call toll free 1-866-529-3343 or visit www.hi529.com to obtain a disclosure statement.

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