Celebrating $2 Billion Saved for Higher Education and 18 Years of Dreaming
The Oregon College Savings Plan reflects on extended history of statewide savings
SALEM, Ore., June 25, 2019 — Following the 18-year anniversary of the Oregon College Savings Plan, the program is celebrating a key milestone—$2 billion saved for higher education. The announcement by Oregon State Treasurer Tobias Read follows a record-setting year for the program, which brought in more than $233 million in contributions to more than 111,000 accounts from across the state.
"The Oregon College Savings Plan is making it easier for Oregonians to save for education and training after high school," said State Treasurer Tobias Read. "More kids will be able to meet their educational goals with less student loan debt and that's good for everyone. We're grateful to the Oregonians who made this investment for the future of the young people in their lives."
Executive Director for the Oregon Savings Network, Michael Parker, added, "We were only able to reach this milestone because of the dedication of our savers—this is your accomplishment. Together, we'll continue dreaming and reaching for those dreams."
In 2018, the Oregon College Savings Plan transitioned to new program administrator, Sumday, a BNY Mellon affiliate. Oregon families have already seen the benefit of better investment options and technology, and an enhanced gift-giving interface.
The Oregon College Savings Plan will continue to focus on improving and expanding the options available to savers, making it even easier to save. Just this month, the program launched an automatic monthly withdrawal feature—easing the ability of families to pay for regular expenses such as room and board.
Encouraging underserved communities in urban and rural areas to save for their future are priorities for both Treasurer Read and the Plan in coordinating future program enhancements. The program is already making a measurable difference through outreach to families looking for a simple means to make college more affordable.
Baby Grad is one popular statewide effort that provides $25 to all Oregon babies' accounts if opened before their first birthday. Beginning in the fall of 2019, as part of our Be College Ready program, parents of kindergarten students who do not already have accounts, can also receive $25 to open an account for their child as part of the new Kinder Grad program.
Be College Ready aims to educate young families about the value of saving for college early in a child's life. During the most recent school year, it served more than 34,000 families, with almost 5,500 of those Spanish speaking.
Another reason to celebrate. Last year saw a notable upgrade to best-in-class Bronze status for the Oregon College Savings Plan among national plans by Morningstar, Inc. Plan enhancements were named as attractive options for both state residents and nonresidents alike.
The Oregon College Savings Plan is a state-sponsored savings program that comes with special tax advantages and can be opened by just about anyone—parents, family, friends, even future students. The money saved in the Oregon College Savings Plan grows tax-free and can be used for qualified expenses at any accredited, post-secondary institution or trade school. To learn more and to open an account, please visit www.oregoncollegesavings.com or call 866-772-8464.
The Oregon Savings Network, part of the Oregon State Treasury, was launched in January 2001 to Administer the college savings plan. It has since expanded to administer the Oregon ABLE Savings Plan and national ABLE for ALL Savings Plan, and the first state-run retirement program, OregonSaves.