“Utah’s ability to compete in a global economy depends upon a well-educated workforce,” said Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert. “Utah Educational Savings Plan’s ‘Make Your Mark’ bookmark contest encourages families to start saving for higher education while their children are young.” Governor Herbert is one of four judges who will select the winning entries.
The “Make Your Mark” bookmark contest offers Utah students the opportunity to design a bookmark on the official UESP and Zions Bank entry form and submit it to UESP for entry into the contest. Entries will be accepted beginning Tuesday, September 2, 2014, through Tuesday, September 30, 2014, at 5 p.m. MT. The official entry form and contest rules are available for download on UESP’s website (uesp.org/bookmark).
“The ‘Make Your Mark’ bookmark contest allows students from across the state of Utah to explore their creativity while expressing their interest in college,” said Lynne Ward, executive director of UESP. “Every year, College Savings Month serves as a reminder to sit down and assess your goals. Remember, saving for college doesn’t necessarily mean you need to cover all college costs. It’s about setting an expectation for your child, and reducing their need for student debt.”
“College is important because it prepares you to achieve your goals in life and gives you the knowledge you need to succeed,” said junior high student Kaitlyn, one of the 2013 “Make Your Mark” bookmark contest winners who aspires to be a Disney animator. “I know the importance of saving early because college is expensive and it’s good to get a head start.”
UESP is highly recommended by many independent organizations, including Morningstar Inc., Money magazine, CBS MoneyWatch.com, and consumer expert Clark Howard.
UESP, which manages more than $7.5 billion in assets, requires no minimum deposits or balances to open an account, so families can save a little or a lot, according to their own schedules. Earnings on UESP accounts grow tax deferred and are federal and Utah state income tax free when used for qualified higher education expenses such as tuition, fees, certain room and board costs, and required books and supplies at any eligible educational institution that participates in federal financial aid programs for students, not just at institutions in Utah.
UESP account owners who are Utah taxpayers/residents may also receive a Utah state income tax credit for contributions to each beneficiary’s account, if the beneficiary is under age 19 when designated on the account. For tax year 2014, Utah taxpayers can claim a 5 percent tax credit on UESP contributions up to $1,860 per qualified beneficiary for single filers ($3,720 per qualified beneficiary for joint filers). Utah-based corporations that own UESP accounts can claim a tax deduction of up to $1,860 per qualified beneficiary. UESP account owners can contribute more or less than these amounts, but these are the maximum allowable contributions for claiming Utah state income tax benefits.
For more information about the Utah Educational Savings Plan, visit uesp.org, call UESP toll-free at 800.418.2551, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.