From staff reports
MONTGOMERY — Alabama parents: do you have a May baby on the way? If so, you could be one of 31 winners selected at random to receive $529 in a new account with CollegeCounts, Alabama’s 529 Plan.
In total, more than $16,000 is being awarded by the Alabama State Treasurer’s Office in honor of May 29 (5/29 Day).
“When a newborn arrives, it is difficult to start planning for the long-term,” said Alabama State Treasurer Young Boozer. “This promotion, however, will help bring college planning to the forefront of thought for new parents … at least for the moment.”
Parents of children born from May 1-31 have until July 1 to visit AL529Day.com and enter their contact information and the date of their child’s birth. Winners will be selected statewide at random and notified by July 17. Birth certificates or commemorative birth announcements for each winner’s child must be submitted to receive funds.
According to The College Board – Trends in College Pricing report, annual tuition, fees and room and board at a public two-year, in-state institution have increased to an average of $11,050. For those same expenses at a public four-year, in-state institution, that increase was to an average of $18,940 for a year. These are averages from across the country and illustrate the significant costs involved with a two- or four-year degree – and the importance of starting to save early.
Under the 529 Section of the tax code, special tax benefits are provided to families saving for future college expenses. Alabama taxpayers may receive a state income tax deduction of up to $5,000 ($10,000 for married couples filing jointly) on contributions to CollegeCounts each year.
Funds may be withdrawn and used at colleges, universities, trade schools and graduate schools at one-, two- and four-year schools in Alabama and across the U.S. – including vocational, technical, community, public and private colleges and universities – for qualified expenses like tuition, fees, room and board, books, and supplies required for enrollment.
To enter a child born in May in the 5/29 promotion, visit AL529Day.com.