'Make the Pledge, Keep the Promise' Sweepstakes Gives Families Chance to Win $150,000 for College, Says Treasurer McCord

Families Encouraged to Join, Enter Contest at Upromise.com by November 13

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| Source: Pennsylvania Treasury

HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 9, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- State Treasurer Rob McCord today shared a way for Pennsylvania families to boost their college savings and earn a chance to win $150,000 for college by joining Upromise, a free way to earn cash for college through everyday purchases.

To join and enter the contest, visit www.upromise.com. The deadline to register for the sweepstakes is Tuesday, November 13.

"Upromise provides an opportunity to earn cash back on everyday spending, which can be transferred into a Pennsylvania 529 college savings account," said Treasurer McCord. "And, like your PA 529 account, friends and family can help earn rewards for your Upromise account. A few dollars here and there can really add up over time."  

Since 2006, PA 529 account owners have earned nearly $7.7 million in cash for college through their participation in Upromise.

Treasurer McCord also reminded families that wish to learn more about the benefits of a 529 plan to view free college savings webinars at PA529.com. The online presentations allow users to have their questions answered by a PA 529 college savings representative.

The PA 529 College Savings Program provides two ways to save: the PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan (GSP) and the PA 529 Investment Plan (IP). Both plans provide flexibility to pay for college expenses at most higher education institutions across the country. The primary difference between the two plans is the way savings grow.

The PA 529 GSP is designed to help savings grow to meet the future cost of education. When used for qualified higher education expenses, PA 529 GSP contributions grow based on tuition inflation (subject to fees and premiums). For example, if you save enough for one semester today at a State System of Higher Education university, you will have enough for one semester there in the future, no matter when or how much tuition has increased in the meantime. 

The PA 529 IP features low fees and more than a dozen conservative and aggressive investment options from The Vanguard Group, one of the nation's largest financial services companies. 

Contributions to a PA 529 plan – including funds earned through Upromise – are deductible from Pennsylvania income taxes (up to $13,000 per beneficiary, or up to $26,000 for married couples provided each individual has income of at least the amount deducted). Contributions in PA 529 plans grow tax free, and when used for qualified educational expenses, earnings are exempt from federal and state taxes. 

"Saving for college can cut the cost by almost 50% when compared to borrowing," Treasurer McCord said. "It's never too early – or too late – to start saving."

The Pennsylvania 529 College Savings Program is a tax-advantaged way to help make college more affordable and accessible for Pennsylvania families. Administered by the McCord Treasury, the program currently serves more than 167,000 accounts with over $2.5 billion in assets. Since the program's inception in 1993, more than 20,500 students have saved for college with the PA 529 program and benefited from over $64 million in earnings. PA 529 plans can be used at colleges and universities, ranging from schools like  The Pennsylvania State University and University of Pittsburgh to trade and career schools such as Empire Beauty Academy and McCann School of Business.

For more information, visit PA529.com or call 1-800-440-4000 to open an account or make a contribution.

The Pennsylvania Treasury logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=11427

Media contact: Carrie Fischer Lepore, 717-772-2416 or news@patreasury.gov

The Pennsylvania 529 College Savings Program sponsors two plans- the PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan (GSP) and the PA 529 Investment Plan (IP).  The guarantee of the PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan is an obligation of the GSP Fund, not the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or any state agency.  Before investing in either plan, please carefully read that plan's disclosure statement (available at www.pa529.com or by calling 1-800-440-4000) to learn more about that plan including investment objectives, risks, fees, and tax implications.

Upromise is an optional service offered by Upromise, Inc., is separate from the Pennsylvania 529 College Savings Program, and is not affiliated with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Specific terms and conditions apply. Participating companies, contribution levels and conditions subject to change without notice.

Upromise, Inc. is affiliated with Upromise Investments, Inc. Upromise, the Upromise logos, and Ugift are registered service marks of Upromise, Inc. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.