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West Fargo's Eslinger receives $529 to 'Save for College'

September is recognized as College Savings Month, where families are encouraged to plan ahead for the cost of college attendance.

By participating in one of several College SAVE events this summer, five young North Dakotans will jumpstart their college savings with a $529 award into a College SAVE account. College SAVE is North Dakota's state-sponsored, tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan administered by Bank of North Dakota (BND).

BND sponsored three "529 Friday - College SAVE Day at the Zoo" events to kick off summer. Each event featured a random drawing for a $529 award, along with other festivities to celebrate college planning.

• Roosevelt Zoo in Minot: $529 recipient is Kylie Topolski, Donnybrook, N.D.

• Dakota Zoo in Bismarck: $529 recipient is Aiden Johnson, Bismarck.

• Red River Zoo in Fargo: $529 recipient is Andrew Eslinger, West Fargo.

College SAVE also held a statewide drawing comprised of participants in the "529 Friday" events plus other North Dakota residents who responded to a general mailing promoting the drawing. The $529 recipient in that drawing is Olivia Aasen of Hillsboro, N.D.

The final $529 award recipient was selected from hundreds of entries from the North Dakota State Fair, where College SAVE has a presence with a free booth that features a paintable mural for family fun. This year's recipient is Tyann Miller of Bismarck.

College Savings Month is a time for families all over North Dakota to consider the value of higher education. Students who have school savings are almost four times more likely to attend a four-year college than youth with no account.

"Saving for college is an important step in helping your child reach his or her educational dreams," said Eric Hardmeyer, Bank of North Dakota President. "College SAVE makes taking that step an easy decision with low fees, matching grants, in-state tax deductions and more. These benefits enable families all over North Dakota to put money toward their children's future education."