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1/5/2010 - The Arkansas 529 Plan Print
I hope you will carefully examine the special opportunity the Arkansas 529 Plan provides to parents, grandparents, and friends of future college students and post-secondary school students. As ATRS Executive Director, I serve on the Arkansas 529 Committee. What I have learned in my service on the 529 Committee is that Arkansas has a user friendly and highly regarded 529 College Savings Plan. By the way, I have just finished my first year at ATRS and on the 529 Committee. The 529 plan has some important advantages over just trying to save for a child's education in a regular account.

The Arkansas 529 Plan has easy investment options and an application process that often can be completed online in less than 15 minutes. Arkansas taxpayers can get special tax breaks for investing in the 529 Plan. Some investment options include an option that starts aggressively and automatically becomes more conservative as a student nears high school graduation. Essentially, from the beginning, you can put this investment on autopilot and it takes out unnecessary guesswork and review of the investment mix. Additionally, if you have an investment advisor, the Plan has other options that an investment advisor can use on your behalf.

Importantly, the Plan has innovative programs like printable invitations to birthday parties, special events, and achievements that are bar coded to allow friends and family to make 529 Plan gifts on behalf of your child or grandchildren. I hope you take the time to read this information and consider it for your family and share it with parents and grandparents of your students. For low-income participants, the Plan actually has a matching program that can pay up to $500 per year to match contributions made by qualifying participants. This may be especially helpful for the family of a talented student that needs some extra help in preparing for college.

I think that most students will have extra motivation to attend and succeed at college if they see their family has prepared and planned for college by opening an account and showing belief in that student’s future. Also remember that these funds can be used at other post secondary programs such as trade schools and technical institutes that qualify. The 529 Plan proceeds can be used throughout the United States and abroad. The 529 Plan proceeds can also be used, not only for tuition, but many other expenses including room and board, books, and incidental expenses. I have attached some additional information that explains the Plan in greater detail and gives you access to additional resources and a website to learn more about 529 plans and the special features of the Arkansas 529 Plan.

If you have questions or need more information, please feel free to call me on my direct line at
(501) 682-1820 or my cell (501) 318-5998 or email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it In addition, if you use Twitter, you can follow events by finding the Twitter ID of ATRS or find George Hopkins in the Twitter directory. On Twitter, you will have access to day-to-day updates on ATRS happenings.

Respectfully,
George Hopkins

Click here to see more information on Arkansas 529 Plan.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 05 January 2010 )