NC 529 Celebrates 20th Anniversary of National College Savings Month with the Fall Into Savings Sweepstakes

September 2023 celebrates the 20th year of National College Savings Month. In 2003, Congress designated September as the month to spotlight college savings. While families are encouraged to save for education all year, College Savings Month is a reminder for families to open an NC 529 Account if they haven’t already or to boost their college savings strategy if they already have an account. To celebrate and encourage families to save for college, K–12, and other postsecondary education needs, NC 529 gave away $5,529 in the Fall Into Savings Sweepstakes!

“We hope families across the state can see the benefits of saving with an NC 529 Account and will act now to boost their education savings (in September),” said Wendy McAlister, President and CEO of College Foundation, Inc. (CFI), in a press release about the sweepstakes.

Congratulations to the Fall Into Savings Sweepstakes Winners, the Hahn Family!

The Hahns are the BIG winners of the NC 529 Fall into Savings Sweepstakes in honor of College Savings Month! Carter, their current 8th grader, will have $5,529 put into his NC 529 Account. With big dreams of heading to college and working in Formula 1 racing later in life, this is a way to “supercharge” his college savings. We have no doubt that no matter what career choice he makes, we’ll see Carter leading the pack one day!

The family says they were shocked by winning the sweepstakes, and the windfall comes at the perfect time. They already have one child, Abigail, who is a freshman in college. The Hahn’s started NC 529 Accounts for both of their children when they were born. Ted Hahn, Carter’s father, says it’s never too late or too early to start saving for college. He particularly likes the gifting option, which makes it simple for family and friends to make contributions for birthdays, holidays, or any time.

“Just having the 529 program is such a great way to encourage families to save for college and a convenient way for extended family to participate in college savings. It’s made a huge difference to my family by providing a mechanism to pay for our children’s colleges,” said Ted Hahn.

NC 529 hit the airwaves to spread the word about College Savings Month and encourage families to start saving for college.

NC 529 in the News:

NC 529’s team of regional representatives hit the North Carolina airwaves to spread the word about the importance of saving for K–12 tuition and higher education during College Savings Month and all year long. The media tour also encouraged North Carolinians to enter the Fall Into Savings Sweepstakes for a chance to win the $5,529 jackpot!

Sarita Broadway Speaks With WRAL-TV in Raleigh

WRAL - 20th Anniversary of National College Savings Month

Regional Representative Sarita Broadway spoke to WRAL-TV about the importance of families saving for education. Sarita shared three tips for families who want to start saving for college:

  1. Evaluate Savings Strategy – Determine how much and how often your family can put money aside.
  2. Know Education Opportunities — NC 529 Accounts can be used for K–12 expenses, college expenses, career/technical programs, and more.
  3. Don’t Go it Alone – Invite family and friends to contribute with NC 529’s gifting platform and your unique gifting link.

She also encouraged people to save what they can, telling WRAL folks don’t have to put thousands of dollars away to start saving today.

“People think they have to save thousands and thousands of dollars on a monthly basis. You can enroll in the program for as little as $25,” said Sarita.

Helping Families Save With WTVD-TV in Raleigh

Money Talks - Ways to Boost College Savings

Sarita also made time to share crucial information about savings for higher education with WTVD-TV in their Raleigh studio. She helps answer the question on many North Carolinians’ minds: “How to pay for college?” NC 529 Accounts are an answer to that prevalent question, as Sarita pointed out all the ways an NC 529 Account can used tax-free for education:

  • Tuition
  • Fees
  • Room and board
  • Books and supplies
  • Student loan payments
  • Study abroad
  • K-12 tuition
  • Career/technical education

Broadway shared that the NC 529 Program was put into place by the North Carolina legislature in 1997. It was created to help families begin to save for education — a “nest egg,” as she called it.

When WTVD-TV asked Broadway how students could boost their college savings, she listed two easy ways to help build education savings:

  • Setting up an NC 529 Account with a minimum of $25
  • Asking family members to contribute for holidays and special occasions

Even though an NC 529 contribution may not seem as exciting as the latest video game for a present, Sarita reiterated how the long-term payouts are impactful. “They’re going to be so appreciative that someone thought of them a long time ago,” she said.

College Savings Month Webinar

Today's Discussion Points - NC 529

Regional representatives held a College Savings Month webinar to share the features and benefits of the NC 529 Plan. As college costs have risen over the last few decades, it’s important to start saving early. Especially as a majority of families plan to pay for at least a portion of their children’s or other family member’s education expenses. Planning ahead can help you cover these costs in the future by saving today.

NC 529 Accounts allow invested earnings to grow tax-free when used for qualified education expenses. That means the earnings your account may have stay in your pocket, as long as it’s used for educational expenses! 

The webinar, “Tips for Contributing to an NC 529 Account,” covered a broad swath of topics to break down every part of the NC 529 Plan. It’s perfect for those who are new to 529 plans and those who already have one. Representatives covered:

  • Why You Should Start a 529 Plan
  • Features of the NC 529 Plan
  • 529 Plan Savings Tips

If you missed the webinar, it’s available anytime on the NC 529 YouTube Channel, along with other helpful webinars and videos. During College Savings Month or any time, you can open an NC 529 Account or increase your savings on an existing account. All it takes is just a few minutes and a minimum $25 contribution. Get started today!

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