Patricia Roberts
Managing Director, AllianceBernstein L.P. & Chair, College Savings Plans Network Corporate Affiliates Committee
May 26, 2015
Across the country as the clock strikes 5:29 a.m. and p.m. each day, if you’re listening to the radio, you may hear a Public Service Announcement that begins by posing a timely and important question: “It’s 5:29, are you saving for college?” In an informative and encouraging manner, the PSA, playing on hundreds of stations across the country, seeks to educate listeners about what 529 college savings plans are and how these plans can play a valuable role in helping families prepare for higher education expenses.

With another creative “529” connection quickly approaching, (Friday, May 29 – National 529 College Savings Day), awareness will surely be raised in countless additional ways across our great nation. The College Savings Plans Network (CSPN), encourages states to utilize 5/29 and the week leading up to it as an appropriate time to conduct focused 529 plan outreach.
To help conveniently communicate in one place what has been planned by states and the District of Columbia, CSPN has developed an interactive U.S. map detailing the wide range of special events and activities in connection with 5/29.
Across the nation, events will be taking place with the goal of raising awareness about the many benefits of 529 plans and the importance of planning ahead for higher education expenses. One of the primary messages will be that any amount saved in advance can reduce amounts that may need to be borrowed for college, trade or technical school down the road. Also, by demonstrating just how easy it is to get started and how little is actually needed as an initial investment, it is hoped that many will take the important first step of establishing an account…this week.
At this wonderful time of year with kindergarten through college graduations occurring all around us, take some time to consider how you can best assist the future students in your life with obtaining higher education in the years to come.
Whether it’s 5:29 or 5/29 when you are next posed with the “Are you saving for college?” question, think how good it may feel to proudly answer with a resounding “yes”!  And, when you look back on “5/29 Day” in years to come, you may recall with appreciation the particular event, form of outreach, friend or trusted advisor that helped get you started.

About the Author:
Patricia Roberts is a Managing Director at AllianceBernstein where her sole focus is on Rhode Island’s CollegeBoundfund, one of the nation’s largest advisor-sold college savings program with over $7 billion in assets under management. She has been involved in nearly every aspect of the college savings arena for more than 15 years as an attorney, product manager, state relationship manager, passionate advocate, public speaker and as a mom, saving for her son Benjamin’s post-secondary education. She is chair of the College Savings Plans Network Corporate Affiliates and also plays an active role on other committees including Media Relations, Federal Initiatives, Multi-Cultural Outreach and Legal and Regulatory Affairs.