December 12, 2003
To encourage alumni to plan for their children's higher education, Oklahoma Baptist University has created a college savings plan incentive in partnership with the Oklahoma College Savings Plan.
The University offers a $100 matching incentive for alumni who open an account through the Oklahoma College Savings Plan and invest at least $100 in the account. The matching contribution is available for alumni who have children under 10 years old.
"We want to help our alumni plan for the success of their children," said Marty O'Gwynn, associate vice president for alumni affairs. "This is a current-dollar incentive that can have a much greater return when these children go to college. While we hope that our alumni will encourage their children to come to OBU, the plan does not require them to follow in their footsteps of their parents."
OBU sought information from several college savings plan providers before seeking a partnership with the OCSP.
"The Oklahoma program is regarded as one of the best state programs," said O'Gwynn.
The OCSP is a "529" college savings plan. The 529 plan -- named for the part of the Internal Revenue Code which allows such savings programs -- offers a variety of benefits, including unique tax advantages for families planning for college expenses.
OBU provides the $100 incentive directly to the account created with the OCSP after receiving documentation that the account has been opened by an eligible alum to benefit an eligible child, and that the initial $100 contribution has been made to the account. The matching investment is available one time for each eligible child of an alum.
OBU alumni can apply for an OCSP account online, download enrollment materials to be completed and mailed, or request that program information be mailed to their homes. To find materials online, go to www.ok4saving.org. To request materials by mail, call 1-877-OK 4 SAVING (877-654-7284) 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday through Friday. More details about the OBU program can be found at www2.okbu.edu/savings.
The OBU-OCSP partnership replaces the university's Future Bison Scholarship. The Future Bison Scholarship, which was a $100 scholarship certificate sent to parents of newborns, will not be offered for children of OBU alumni born on or after January 1, 2003. Children born prior to that date may still receive the Future Bison Scholarship if they do not take advantage of the OBU-OCSP matching gift program.
"We hope alumni will take advantage of the innovative incentive," O'Gwynn said. "We donít know of a similar program anywhere else."