College Savings Month Brings Savings “Back to
More parents saving through 529 plans, survey says
September 23, 2011 10:33 AM Eastern Daylight Time
LITTLE ROCK, Ark.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--iShares, a global leader in Exchange Traded Funds and
investment manager of Arkansas’s iShares 529 Plan, encourages parents and students alike to think twice about their
savings strategy in September, recently recognized across the United States as “National College Savings Month.“
More parents are feeling the urgency to save for higher education, even as day to day needs remain high on the
priority list. The average 4-year public college tuition is up 6.1 percent to $16,140; 4-year private college is up 4.3
percent to $36,993, according to The College Board. Assuming such costs increase by 5% a year, the projected
cost of college in 15 years will be more than $100,000 for a 4-year public college and more than $200,000 for a 4-
year private college.
Families are responding by using savings tools like 529 plans, which are savings accounts created just for this
purpose: they provide benefits for families that set aside money specifically for higher education.
According to a 2011 survey by the College Savings Foundation, 65 percent of parents are saving for college, and 25
percent of those savers use 529 plans.
“College costs continue to rise, even outpacing inflation costs,” said Stephen Jobe, Director of iShares 529
Programs at BlackRock. “And, most families simply cannot meet the financial challenge unless they are setting aside
money on a regular basis. The iShares 529 Plan can be an effective way to keep savings moving towards that
important goal of being able to afford to pay for college.”
As a savings plan created specifically to help students and their families fund higher education, the iShares 529 Plan
has grown rapidly since it was first introduced. In fact, assets in the Plan have more than doubled year-over-year
since the Plan’s inception in 2007. And because of its flexibility, transparency, and low fees, the Plan was one of just
five advisor-sold 529 plans to earn an “Above Average” rating among 23 advisor sold plans rated in Morningstar’s
annual 529 Industry Survey in 2010.
Arkansas offers a state income tax deduction of up to $5,000 a year ($10,000 for married couples) to families who
contribute to an Arkansas-sponsored 529 plan account.1
About the iShares 529 Plan: The iShares 529 Plan is a college savings plan sponsored by the State of Arkansas.
It is available through financial advisors, and is the only 529 plan with all Exchange Traded Funds as the underlying
investments. With Exchange Traded Funds at its core, the iShares 529 Plan breaks new ground in the 529 plan
arena by offering attractive benefits, including low expenses and transparency. For more information about the
iShares 529 Plan, please visit www.ishares529.com.
About BlackRock: BlackRock is a leader in investment management, risk management and advisory services for
institutional and retail clients worldwide. At June 30, 2011, BlackRock's AUM was $3.659 trillion. BlackRock
offers products that span the risk spectrum to meet clients' needs, including active, enhanced and index strategies
across markets and asset classes. Products are offered in a variety of structures including separate accounts, mutual
funds, iShares® (exchange-traded funds), and other pooled investment vehicles. BlackRock also offers risk
management, advisory and enterprise investment system services to a broad base of institutional investors through
BlackRock Solutions®. Headquartered in New York City, as of June 30, 2011, the firm has approximately 9,700
employees in 26 countries and a major presence in key global markets, including North and South America, Europe,
Asia, Australia and the Middle East and Africa. For additional information, please visit the Company's website at
About iShares: iShares is the global product leader in exchange traded funds with over 460 funds globally across
equities, fixed income and commodities, which trade on 19 exchanges worldwide. The iShares Funds are bought and
sold like common stocks on securities exchanges. The iShares Funds are attractive to many individual and
institutional investors and financial intermediaries because of their relative low cost, tax efficiency and trading
flexibility. Investors can purchase and sell shares through any brokerage firm, financial advisor, or online broker, and
hold the funds in any type of brokerage account. The iShares customer base consists of the institutional segment of
pension plans and fund managers, as well as the retail segment of financial advisors and high net worth individuals.
For more information about the iShares 529 Plan, contact your financial advisor, call 1-888-529-9552 or
visit www.ishares529.com to obtain a Program Description and Participation Agreement which includes
investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information; read and consider it
carefully before investing or sending money. Upromise Investments, Inc. Co-Distributor and Underwriter;
BlackRock Fund Distribution Company, Co-Distributor.
If you are not an Arkansas taxpayer, consider before investing whether your or the designated
beneficiary’s home state offers any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in
such state's qualified tuition program.
The iShares 529 Plan is a college tuition savings program sponsored by the State of Arkansas and is administered by
The Arkansas 529 Plan Review Committee (Committee). Upromise Investments, Inc. (UII), and Upromise
Investment Advisors, LLC (UIA), serve as the Program Manager and Recordkeeping and Servicing Agent,
respectively, with overall responsibility for the day-to-day operations, including marketing and co-distribution of the
iShares 529 Plan. BlackRock Fund Distribution Company also has responsibility for co-distribution of the iShares
529 Plan. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company, N.A., serves as Investment Manager of the iShares 529 Plan
except for the Savings Portfolio, which is managed by Sallie Mae Bank. The iShares 529 Plan’s Portfolios invest in
either (i) exchange traded funds; or (ii) a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)-insured omnibus savings
account held in trust by the Committee at Sallie Mae Bank. Upromise, Inc., UII, UIA and Sallie Mae Bank are
affiliates. Units of the Portfolios are municipal securities, are not exchange traded funds, and the value of units will
vary with market conditions.
Investment returns will vary depending on the performance of the Portfolios you choose. Except to the extent of
FDIC insurance available for the Savings Portfolio, you could lose all or a portion of your money by investing in the
iShares 529 Plan, depending on market conditions. Account Owners assume all investment risks as well as
responsibility for any federal and state tax consequences.
Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal. Account Owners assume all investment risks as well as
responsibility for any federal and state tax consequences.
The Aggregate balance of all 529 Plan accounts sponsored by the State of Arkansas for the same designated
beneficiary may not exceed $366,000.
A periodic plan of regular investment cannot assure a profit or protect against a loss in a declining market.
Neither BlackRock Institutional Trust Company, N.A., and its affiliates nor Upromise and its affiliates provide tax
advice. Please note that (i) any discussion of U.S. tax matters contained in this communication cannot be used by
you for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties; (ii) this communication was written to support the promotion or
marketing of the matters addressed herein: and (iii) you should seek advice based on your particular circumstances
from an independent tax advisor.
BlackRock Institutional Trust Company, N.A. and BlackRock Fund Distribution Company are subsidiaries of
BlackRock, Inc., none of which is affiliated with Upromise.
© 2011 BlackRock Institutional Trust Company, N.A. iShares® is a registered trademark of BlackRock
Institutional Trust Company, N.A. BlackRock® is a registered trademark of BlackRock, Inc. All other trademarks,
servicemarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners. 529-0205-0911
* Not FDIC Insured (except for the Savings Portfolio) * No Bank, State or Federal Guarantee * May
1 Contributions to the Plan in a tax year are deductible from Arkansas state income tax, subject to recapture in
subsequent years in which non-qualified withdrawals or a rollover out to another state’s 529 plan is made.
Christine Hudacko, 415-670-2687
For iShares 529 Plan:
Evan Zall, 781-449-3244
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