TWO LEXINGTON STUDENTS WIN STATEWIDE ART COMPETITION
BOSTON – Two Lexington students placed first in their grade level in a statewide art competition that promotes the importance of saving for college. MEFA, the not-for-profit college financing expert that offers the U.Fund College Investing PlanSM, annually holds the College Savings Art Competition, which invites third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students at all public, private, charter, and home-based schools to submit artwork on the theme “What do I want to be when I graduate from college?”
Ian Wang, a third-grader at the Maria Hastings Elementary School, placed first with a depiction of a NASA engineer. Lewis Hwang, a fourth-grader at the Fiske School, placed first in his grade level for his illustration of an underwater explorer. To help pay future college expenses, Wang and Hwang each received $5,000 in a U.Fund College Investing Plan account, Massachusetts’ 529 college savings plan offered by MEFA and managed by Fidelity Investments.
“Every year, we are excited to see so many children across the Commonwealth participate in the Art Competition and share the dreams they have for the future,” said Thomas Graf, executive director of MEFA, which is celebrating 30 years of service to Massachusetts families and students. “The annual competition provides an opportunity to encourage those dreams, and talk with parents about how a college degree can help their children reach these goals. Starting to save for that college education early and regularly through a tax-advantaged vehicle like the U.Fund is an important step toward investing in their future.”
The student’s artwork was judged by representatives from MEFA, and the top three finishers in grades third, fourth and fifth were awarded a prize during a State House ceremony in late June. Second and third place finishers received $2,000 and $1,000 respectively, which was deposited in the student’s name in a U.Fund College Investing Plan account.
Since its inception, the MEFA College Savings Art Competition has received nearly 20,000 entries and awarded more than $190,000 in U.Fund College Investing Plan accounts.
The U. Fund College Investing Plan is a tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan specifically designed to accumulate savings for higher education. The U.Fund offers families nationwide the ability to save federal income tax-deferred for future education expenses at most accredited colleges and universities. Parents can start a U.Fund account with a low initial investment of $50 or $15/month with no restrictions on income, and additional relatives and friends can contribute to a single account benefiting a child.
The U.Fund, which was first introduced in 1999, has grown to more than 173,000 accounts totaling over $3.6 billion in college savings as of May 31, 2012.
For more information about the College Savings Art Competition and other programs sponsored by MEFA, visit www.mefa.org.
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MEFA is a not-for-profit self-financing state authority, not reliant on state or federal appropriation that has been working for 30 years to make higher education more accessible and affordable for students and families in Massachusetts. MEFA was created by the state legislature at the request of Massachusetts colleges and universities and provides community education programs, college savings plans, and low-cost financing options. In its 30 year history, MEFA has assisted hundreds of thousands of families in financing a college education. For more information about MEFA, visit www.mefa.org or call 1-800-449-6332 (MEFA).