Education Trust of Alaska Celebrates 20 Year Anniversary, Offers $60,000 in Scholarships

December 13, 2021 

For twenty years, the Education Trust of Alaska (Trust) has been making college more affordable by offering high-quality 529 plan options that enable families across the country to achieve their education savings goals. Since 2001, the Education Trust of Alaska, T. Rowe Price, and John Hancock have helped deliver college savings plan offerings to more than 312,000 students with $11 billion in assets currently under management.

To celebrate the milestone, the Trust has sponsored $20,000 scholarships in each of its three 529 plans. “We feel that awarding scholarships is the perfect way to highlight the Trust’s goals and achievements,” said Tamera Weaver, Trust Administrator for the Education Trust of Alaska. 

Alaska 529 awarded its scholarship to one randomly selected family enrolled in the plan. The Colan family of Miami, Florida, won the drawing and will receive an additional $20,000 to help boost their education savings.

"Our financial advisor suggested we start Alaska 529 accounts to help save for our kids' college educations, and we're very glad he did. We've watched the money we've put away grow, and it really puts our minds at ease,” said Dr. Lori Colan.

Even though Alaska 529 does not advertise outside of Alaska, about one-third of the plan’s new accounts are opened by Lower 48 residents.

“Alaska 529 has a great reputation, evidenced by our nation-wide participation,” said Weaver. 

The T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan awarded the $20,000 scholarship to the 529th beneficiary of a new account opened during the award period starting on September 1, 2021. Christopher Bogard, a seven-month-old from Winston Salem, North Carolina, won the scholarship. Christopher’s mother, Tracy Redden, hopes Christopher’s savings will help reduce stress around paying for his tuition.

“We know that saving and investing for our son now will give him a financial advantage that can’t truly be measured in dollars and cents,” she said. 

The John Hancock Freedom 529 plan used the funds to offer a $20,000 scholarship award available to one of the 600 students who participated in John Hancock’s MLK Scholars program this past summer.  The application for the award required students to create a short video addressed to their future self that responded to a variety of questions. Sarah Xu, a freshman at Boston University, was awarded the scholarship. Sarah’s winning video can be found here.

All of the scholarships are held in accounts that are invested in their respective 529 plans. The assets may be used for qualified education expenses of the winner at any eligible institution of higher education

“The 20-year partnership we have had with T. Rowe Price and John Hancock is noteworthy and unique,” said Weaver. “Our teams work together on a daily basis to provide the best possible investment options and service to our participants. We’re so proud of the resources and tools that we’re able to provide families planning for their futures. We look forward to the next 20 years of our partnership.”

Photos of the scholarship winners can be found here.
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