Treasurer McCord, PA 529 Program ‘Go Bananas’ at Philadelphia, Pittsburgh Zoos for ‘529 Day’

Families encouraged to join in festivities, register to win one of ten $529 college savings accounts at

Harrisburg, May 29, 2012 – State Treasurer Rob McCord today encouraged visitors to the Philadelphia Zoo to get started on the path to saving for higher education with a PA 529 College Saving Program account that offers great tax benefits and can help to make higher education affordable.

The Treasurer, along with representatives of the PA 529 College Savings Program, visited the zoo today to mark “529 Day,” a day dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of saving for college. Representatives of the program were also on hand today at the Pittsburgh Zoo to share the same message.

“The Philadelphia and Pittsburgh zoos help to educate children and families, which makes these locations natural fits to learn how the PA 529 College Savings Program can help make saving for higher education easy,” said Treasurer McCord. “This 529 Day, I hope parents will open and contribute to a PA 529 account and cross that ‘save for college’ item off of their to-do list.”

Treasurer McCord said many financial experts consider 529 college savings plans to be one of the best ways to save for college because of important tax advantages. Families that save through either plan can receive tax deductions on contributions up to certain limits, tax-deferred growth on earnings, and tax-free withdrawals when funds are used for qualified educational expenses.

As President and CEO of the Philadelphia Zoo, Vikram H. Dewan sees the importance of investing in the future first-hand. 

“Our children and grandchildren will truly be the next generation of leaders and protectors of this planet. It’s important to encourage and provide for their education as it is they that will safeguard our wildlife and sustain our world,” said Mr. Dewan.

The 529 Day festivities at the zoos included appearances by Radio Disney, which put on interactive hands-on events with the hottest music, coolest games, and tons of prizes.

Treasurer McCord said two special ‘529 Day’ incentives make May a particularly valuable time for families to get started saving. The PA 529 College Saving Program is sponsoring a chance to win one of ten $529 PA 529 college savings accounts at

Registrations must be received by May 31. Treasury also is offering free enrollment in the PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan – one of two great tax-advantaged plans offered via the McCord Treasury – through the end of the month, which is a $50 savings. Enrollment is always free in the second plan, known as the PA 529 Investment Plan, or IP.

Growth in the PA 529 GSP is based on tuition inflation. For example, if you save enough now for a semester at one of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education universities you will have enough for a semester there in the future – no matter when or how much tuition increases in the meantime. 

Returns in the PA 529 IP are based on financial market performance. The PA 529 IP features low fees and more than a dozen conservative and aggressive investment options from Vanguard, one of the nation’s largest financial services companies.

“Many people now question whether college is still worth it given the cost. In my mind, the answer is, ‘Yes,’” said Treasurer McCord. “The benefits of higher education are clear: greater employment prospects and earning potential, and a greater likelihood of leading a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life. Saving for college may feel like a daunting task for many, but a PA 529 plan makes the process doable. And remember, the earlier you start, the more time you will have for your savings to grow, which will help to make college more affordable down the road.”

To learn more about the PA 529 College Savings Program or to enter the scholarship sweepstakes, visit or call 1-800-440-4000.


The Pennsylvania 529 College Savings Program sponsors two plans - the PA Guaranteed Savings Plan (GSP) and the PA 529 Investment Plan.  The guarantee of the PA 529 GSP is an obligation of the GSP Fund, not the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or any state agency.  Before investing in either plan, please carefully read that plan’s disclosure statement (available at or by calling 1-800-440-4000) to learn more about that plan, including investment objectives, risks, fees, and tax implications.

Media contact: Elizabeth Foose, 717-787-2991 or