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O'DONNELL, JUBELIRER COLLEGE SAVINGS PLANS PASS CONFERENCE COMMITTEE

 O'DONNELL, JUBELIRER COLLEGE SAVINGS PLANS PASS CONFERENCE COMMITTEE
 HARRISBURG, Pa., March 16 /PRNewswire/ -- In an effort to help families meet the skyrocketing costs of higher education, Pennsylvania state House Speaker Robert W. O'Donnell (D-Philadelphia) and Senate President Pro Tempore Robert C. Jubelirer (R-Blair) today announced that both of their college savings plans had been unanimously approved by a conference committee.
 The conference committee incorporated the two leaders' programs into one bill (Senate Bill 2), which puts it in a position for a full Senate and House vote.
 "This bill will allow hardworking parents to invest today in their children's future," O'Donnell said. "Although it's every parent's dream to offer their children a higher quality of life than they've known, many families today doubt that they will be able to because college costs keep soaring. This bill will help those families plan ahead and save today for their most important long-term goal: their children's education."
 "Many parents are looking for an effective way to set aside money today for the college education of their children tomorrow," Jubelirer said. "Giving them attractive options for savings will result in more Pennsylvania students pursuing higher education, and that is important for our future."
 He explained that the Tuition Account Program (TAP) "offers the incentive of an exceptional return on savings and the security of a guarantee in respect to tuition at state universities, state-related universities and community colleges."
 The O'Donnell Plan
 O'Donnell's plan, known as the College Savings Bond Program, will require the state to offer Pennsylvanians the chance to purchase tax- exempt "zero coupon" bonds. All interest income will be compounded semi-annually and paid when the bond matures. The bonds will be offered at accessible prices. The bonds would accrue interest over time -- the longer the maturity, the greater the payback.
 For example, if the parents of a 2-year-old bought a College Savings Bond at a discounted rate of $1,425 this year and let it mature for 16 years, the bond would pay $5,000(A) by the time their child was ready to enter college. If the grandparents of the child bought a second bond with the same maturity, then when the child turns 18 and the bonds come due, $10,000 will be available to fund the child's college expenses.
 (A) This assumes an 8 percent yield. The actual price and yield will be set when the bonds are offered to the public. They are expected to be available this year.
 The Jubelirer Program
 Under TAP, the parent or other saver would gear their contributions to the existing tuition rate at any of the public universities. TAP funds could also be used toward an education at another college or university. The program would allow for incremental contributions, an approach that many families would find more affordable than lump sum savings. Another feature provides that TAP accounts will not diminish a student's eligibility for student financial assistance programs.
 O'Donnell and Jubelirer said they expect the bill to pass both chambers and be signed by the governor.
 /delval/
 -0- 3/16/92
 /CONTACT: Nancy Nowicki of Rep. O'Donnell's Office, 717-787-4610, or David Atkinson of Sen. Jubelirer's Office, 717-787-6725/ CO: Pennsylvania House of Representatives; Pennsylvania Senate ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU: LEG


KA-LJ -- PH032 -- 8463 03/16/92 16:33 EST
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Date:Mar 16, 1992
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