September 3, 2009/Families Encouraged to Save, Plan for College During College Savings Month
Students and parents looking for guidance on saving and planning for college are encouraged to visit their local Plan4College center this month to pick up new resources to help them save early and often for higher education. Oklahoma Money Matters (OKMM) and GEAR UP, both divisions of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, are offering these resources at 31 Plan4College centers across the state in celebration of September as College Savings Month.
Available materials will give families an overview of the Oklahoma College Savings Plan, Coverdell accounts, making college savings a priority, tips for working college savings into monthly budgets and other useful ideas that can help students and parents manage the cost of college. Plan4College centers are stocked with knowledgeable coordinators, computers and a variety of educational materials.
OKMM is a financial literacy initiative of the Oklahoma Guaranteed Student Loan Program and the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. OKMM offers information, materials and tools to help families budget, save, manage consumer credit, navigate the financial aid process and successfully repay student loans.
GEAR UP, a federally funded program administered by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, helps prepare middle and high school students for college through academic preparation programs and scholarships for students, professional development activities for educators and college access information for students and parents.
“We encourage families to take some time to determine how they can best prepare their students and their budgets for college,” said Oklahoma higher education Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “A college education is affordable when families start planning early and learn what resources and options are available to them. The Plan4College centers were created to give families easier access to the information they need.”
Plan4College centers can be found in the following locations:
Atoka - Choctaw Nation Field Office; Bennington Public Schools; Boswell Public Library; Bethel - Choctaw Nation Field Office; Broken Bow Public Library; Cheyenne - Minnie R. Slief Public Library; Coalgate - Coal County Public Library; Cordell Public Library; Clinton Public Library; Durant - Choctaw Nation Office and Robert L. Williams Public Library; Guthrie Public Library; Hartshorne Public Library; Heavener Public Library; Hugo- Choctaw County Public Library; Idabel Public Library; Lawton Public Library and McAlester Public Library. Also in: Oklahoma City - Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Urban League; Poteau - Buckley Public Library; Seiling Public Library; Sentinel Public Library; Shawnee Public Library; Smithville - Choctaw Nation Field Office; Spiro Public Library; Stigler Public Library; Talihina Public Library; Thomas - Hazel Cross Public Library; Tulsa - Daniel Webster High School Library, Martin Regional Library and Rudisill Regional Library; Wilburton - Latimer County Public Library; Wister Public Library and Wright City - Choctaw Nation Field Office.
For more information about the Plan4College centers, such as hours of operation and contact information, visit www.okhighered.org/gearup/plan-4-college.shtml.
For more information about saving for college, visit www.oklahomamoneymatters.org or call 800.970.6566.
For more information about planning for college, visit www.OKcollegestart.org or call 800.858.1840.
The U.S. Department of Education awarded Oklahoma with state GEAR UP grants totaling $20.5 million in August 1999 and $20.6 million in August 2005. The grants have been matched by more than $47 million from state and partner resources. With the addition of the 2005 multi-year, federal grant, Oklahoma’s GEAR UP program will ultimately receive more than $45.6 million in federal funds by 2011. GEAR UP receives 49 percent of total funding from the federal government and 51 percent from other organizations.