Children’s Museum of Phoenix hosts college savings awareness event

State Superintendant for Public Instruction John Huppenthal. Photo courtesy of the Arizona Department of Education.

Arizona’s Superintendent for Public Instruction, John Huppenthal, will visit the Children’s Museum of Phoenix Thursday as part of the museum’s College Savings Awareness Campaign. October is Arizona College Savings Awareness Month.

The event will take place between 1 and 2pm and will feature a variety of interactive activities and giveaways. It’s sponsored by the Arizona Family College Savings (529) program.

Huppenthal will attend to help families understand the importance of saving early for their child’s postsecondary educational expenses. Admission to the events is free with paid Children’s Museum of Phoenix admission of $11. Members and children under the age of 1 are free.

“Saving is an important step in college preparation and motivation for a child,” says April Osborn, Ph.D., executive director for the Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education. “Children with savings accounts are up to six times more likely to enroll in college, according to research by the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis.”

The Arizona Family College Savings Program is sponsored by the State of Arizona.

Here’s a rundown of the day’s events:

1-1:15pm: Coin Rubbings. Huppenthal will be join children in an Art Studio project of coin rubbings from gigantic pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters and silver dollars. This activity is designed to teach the value of money and the importance of saving.

1:15-1:30pm: Story Time – Making Cents. Huppenthal will lead the group in a story time with an educational narrative to teach children what it truly means to save, spend, and budget money.

1:40-2pm: Q&A. Huppenthal and Osborn will host a Q&A session about saving money, the AZ 529 Program and the importance of Arizona College Savings Awareness Month.

Earnings in a 529 Plan grow federal income tax-deferred. Withdrawals from a 529 Plan college savings account are federal income tax-free if they are applied to qualified higher education expenses such as tuition, fees, room, board and books. For Arizona taxpayers, qualified withdrawals are also Arizona income tax- free and annual contributions to the 529 Plan are Arizona state income tax deductible up to $750 per person and $1,500 per married couple.

A 529 Plan can be used for college expenses at any accredited postsecondary institution, including vocational schools in the U.S., and for educational expenses at some institutions abroad.

Arizona Family College Savings Program offers investment options through three providers: Fidelity Investments, College Savings Bank and Ivy Funds InvestEd 529 Plan. The Arizona 529 Plan offers an array of investment choices among state-sponsored 529 Plans including a variety of FDIC-insured CDs, direct-sold mutual funds and advisor-sold mutual fund products.

For more information on the Arizona Family College Savings Program, visit az529.gov.

The Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education’s mission is to expand access and to increase success in postsecondary education. ACPE is the state’s administrator for Arizona Family College Savings Program, administers student financial aid programs, hosts College Goal Sunday, and numerous other postsecondary education initiatives. azhighered.gov.

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