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Tustin Mom Wins $5,000 College Savings Account From ScholarShare


October 22, 2013 - Sacramento, CA

ScholarShare, California's 529 college savings plan, today announced Grace Higa-Tiara of Tustin is the grand prize winner of the "Share Your Spirit" Facebook promotion. Her daughter, Micah, is in the sixth grade and the winnings will be added to the ScholarShare college savings account already opened in her name.

The sweepstakes was conducted during the month of September, National College Savings Month. To celebrate, ScholarShare launched the promotion at the beginning of the month and offered a $5,000 grand prize on September 27 and three $1,000 prizes at the end of each week. More than 2,500 residents from across California entered during the month-long campaign. Grace was randomly selected as the recipient of the $5,000 grand prize.

The promotion also asked parents to submit photographs of their child representing the school spirit of their favorite college. These photographs served as a visual illustration of the aspirations for each child. More than 700 parents uploaded images of their children and they all received a special ScholarShare piggy bank to teach these little ones about the importance of saving early for higher education with a college savings plan.

Any earnings from a college fund can grow tax-deferred, and are federal and California state income tax-free when used to pay for qualified higher education expenses. ScholarShare has the tools to make it easier than ever for family and friends to contribute. And, through ScholarShare's "Give a Gift" option, anyone can open a 529 plan or gift one. College savings specialists are available for phone and in-person consultations at no cost to answer questions.

ScholarShare continues to offer flexible features. Any US citizen, or resident alien with a valid Social Security Number or Taxpayer Identification Number, can open a new account on behalf of a beneficiary. Funds can be used at any eligible educational institution in the nation, and some abroad, for a variety of qualified higher education expenses, including mandatory fees, books, supplies, or even certain room and board costs.

About the ScholarShare 529 College Savings Plan:
ScholarShare accounts may be opened with as little as $25 per investment portfolio. ScholarShare has no annual account maintenance fee, no income limit and offers a high maximum account balance. Established in 1999, ScholarShare currently holds more than $5 billion in assets in more than 245,000 accounts as of 6/30/13. To sign up for an account or for more information about the plan, visit www.scholarshare.com. For information about the ScholarShare Investment Board (SIB), visit www.treasurer.ca.gov/scholarshare. Like ScholarShare on Facebook at www.facebook.com/scholarshare529 and follow us on Twitter at @ScholarShare529.

Named for the section of the IRS code under which they were created, 529 plans offer valuable tax advantages. Contributions are made with money that has already been taxed. Once funds are placed in the account, investment earnings, if any, are not federally or state taxed, if withdrawn to pay for qualified higher education costs.

Consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses before investing in the ScholarShare 529 College Savings Plan. Please visit www.scholarshare.com for a Program Disclosure Booklet containing this and other information. Read it carefully.

Before investing in a 529 plan, consider whether the state where you or your Beneficiary resides has a 529 plan that offers favorable state tax benefits that are available if you invest in that state's 529 plan.

The tax information contained herein is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties. Taxpayers should seek advice based on their own particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor. Non-qualified withdrawals may be subject to federal and state taxes and the additional federal 10% tax. Non-qualified withdrawals may also be subject to an additional 2.5% California tax on earnings.

Investments in the Program are neither insured nor guaranteed and there is the risk of investment loss.

The ScholarShare 529 College Savings Plan Twitter and Facebook pages are managed by the state of California.

TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc., Program Manager.

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