Minnesota College savings Plan Logo(St. Paul) - The Minnesota State Fair runs from Aug. 21 - Sept. 1, 2014, and right after it wraps up the kids will be heading back to school. How are the families in your audience doing when it comes to saving money for college? 

At the State Fair, all Minnesotans will have the opportunity to learn if they have saved enough, and if not, how they can implement a plan to do better. The Minnesota College Savings Plan, the state’s designated 529 plan, will be hosting events every day of The Fair. Here is the schedule:

THURSDAY, AUG. 21 – On the first day of The Fair, Goldie the Gopher from the University of Minnesota will be on loan as the official mascot of the Minnesota College Savings Plan. He will mingle with fairgoers throughout the day, and also have the honor of drawing the name of the winner of a $200 scholarship from the Minnesota College Savings Plan. 

Flyers promoting the contest will be inside each copy of the Star Tribune newspapers that are given away to fairgoers who stop by the newspaper’s booth every day.  To enter the contest, fairgoers need to stop by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education booth inside the Education Building and fill out a form. A new winning name will be drawn every day of The Fair around 5 p.m. 

FRIDAY. AUG. 22 – The Minnesota College Savings Plan is taking over WCCO Radio’s booth for the day. Information about saving for college will be handed out at the booth all day. The WCCO Radio booth is located at the corner of Underwood and Carnes, next to Ye Old Mill and Sweet Martha’s Cookies. 

At 5 p.m., WCCO personality Eric Nelson will interview Minnesota College Saving Plan Program Manager Robert Stern, who will discuss changes that are being made to the plan. In addition to reducing the plan fees by 50 percent to just about one-quarter of one percent, account holders now have access to four new funds: a conservative fund, an aggressive fun, a large cap fund and an equity plus interest fund. There has also been an increase in the number managed allocation funds available.  In addition, the contribution limit for each account is being raised from $235,000 to $350,000. 

“There has never been a better time than now to open an account with the Minnesota College Savings Plan,” said Robert Stern, the plan’s program manager. “The changes that go into effect on Aug. 12 this year make Minnesota’s one of the most competitive 529 plans in the entire country.”

Larry Pogemiller, Commissioner of The Minnesota Office of Higher Education will have the honor of drawing the name of the day’s $200 scholarship winner.

SATURDAY, AUG. 23 – Chair Kari Cooper of the Minnesota State University Student Association will be present at the Office of Higher Education’s State Fair booth to draw the name of the day’s $200 scholarship winner and discuss the importance of saving for higher education in Minnesota. 

SUNDAY, AUG. 24 – Fairgoers can stop by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education booth inside the Education Building to pick up information about the Minnesota College Savings Plan and enter the daily contest for a $200 scholarship. 

MONDAY, AUG. 25 – In partnership with Radio Disney and in honor of Kids Day at The Fair, the Minnesota College Savings Plan will takeover Carousel Park all day long. At 5 p.m., WCCO Radio personality Eric Nelson will interview St. Thomas University Dean Dr. Barbara Shank, who will draw the name of the day’s $200 scholarship winner. 

TUESDAY, AUG. 26 – Meet Dr. Michael Hemesath, President of Saint John’s College, at the Buz’N Country booth, located at the corner of Cooper and Dan Patch at the State Fair Grounds. In addition to being interviewed on the air about the importance of saving for college, he will have the honor of drawing the name of the day’s $200 scholarship winner. 

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 27 – MELSA Day at the Fair. In partnership with Minnesota Parent Magazine, the Minnesota College Savings Plan will be handing out gift bags in the education building. Goldie the Gopher will again have the honor of drawing the name of the day’s $200 scholarship winner. 

THURSDAY, AUG. 28 – KARE at The Fair. During the 11 a.m. live newscast, Robert Stern, Program Director of the Minnesota College Savings Plan will talk about the major changes made to the plan in July, and how they benefit all Minnesotans. 

At 5 p.m., WCCO Radio personality Eric Nelson will interview Minnesota’s Private College Council’s Paul Cerkvenik, who will have the honor of drawing the name of the day’s $200 scholarship winner. 

FRIDAY, AUG. 29 – KARE at The Fair. Crunch from the Timberwolves will be the Minnesota College Savings Plan’s mascot for the day, and Larry Pogemiller, Commissioner of The Minnesota Office of Higher Education, will be interviewed during the 11 a.m. newscast on KARE 11. 

Timberwolves mascot Crunch will draw the name of the day’s scholarship winner later in the day.

SATURDAY, AUG. 30 – Information will be handed out throughout the day at the Minnesota Office of Higher Education’s booth in the Education Building. Prowl, the mascot for the Minnesota Lynx women’s basketball team, will draw the name of the day’s $200 scholarship winner. 

SUNDAY, AUG. 31 & MONDAY, SEPT. 1 – Fairgoers can stop by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education booth inside the Education Building to pick up information about the Minnesota College Savings Plan and enter the daily contest for a $200 scholarship. 

Here is a summary of the celebrities doing the drawings for college scholarships each day at 5 p.m. Winners do not need to be present to win.

Aug. 21– Goldie the Gopher
Aug. 22– Larry Pogemiller, the Commissioner of Higher Education
Aug. 23– Minnesota State University Student Association Chair Kari Cooper
Aug. 24 – T.B.A.
Aug. 25– St. Thomas Dean Dr. Barbara Shank
Aug. 26– St. John’s University President Dr. Michael Hemesath
Aug. 27– Goldie the Gopher
Aug. 28– Minnesota’s Private College Council’s President Paul Cerkvenik
Aug. 29– Crunch & Larry Pogemiller, the Commissioner of Higher Education
Aug. 30– Prowl from The Lynx
Aug. 31– T.B.A.
September 1 – T.B.A.

Families can open an account with the Minnesota College Savings Plan with as little as $25. For employers offering payroll deduction, the minimum contribution is just $15. Plus, there are no additional sales charges, start-up or maintenance fees. All earnings in the Plan’s investments grow tax-free as long as the funds are used for qualified expenses at any college, university, trade or career school in the nation and some foreign countries. 

To learn more about the Minnesota College Savings Plan, visit www.mnsaves.org or call (877) 338-4646 to speak to a consultant. The Minnesota College Savings Plan is managed by TIAA- CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. (TFI). TFI is part of the TIAA-CREF group of companies, with over $520 billion in combined assets under management as of 3/31/13. This past March, Lipper designated TIAA-CREF as the Best Overall Large Fund Group, highlighting the firm’s commitment to offering best-in-class mutual fund products across asset classes.
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Consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses before investing in the Minnesota College Savings Plan. Please visit www.mnsaves.org for a Plan Disclosure Booklet with this and other information. Read it carefully. Investments in the Plan are neither insured nor guaranteed and there is the risk of investment loss. Before investing in a 529 plan, consider whether the state where you or your designated Beneficiary resides has a 529 plan offering favorable state tax benefits 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 federal or state taxes or tax penalties. Taxpayers should seek tax advice from an independent tax advisor based on their own particular circumstances. Non-qualified withdrawals may be subject to federal and state taxes and the additional federal 10% tax. TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing Inc., Plan Manager C10116            

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