UA College Savings Plan announces 2010 Scholarship Account winners

by Kathleen McCoy  |   

A 4-year-old boy from North Pole won a $25,000 University of Alaska College Savings Plan scholarship, while four other young Alaskans from Tanana to Anchorage each won $2,500 scholarship giveaways.

University of Alaska Anchorage Chancellor Fran Ulmer announced the five randomly selected winners during halftime of the UAA vs. Weber State basketball game at the Great Alaska Shootout, held Thanksgiving Day at Sullivan Arena.

Four-year-old Tristan Besser of North Pole now has $25,000 added to his college savings plan. His mother, April Besser, said she and her husband were "completely surprised" to learn they had won.

"My husband and I opened a college savings plan for Tristan to start saving money for his education," April Besser said. "The UA College Savings Plan is a good investment in your child's future and I would definitely recommend it."

The winners of the $2,500 giveaway are:

  • $2,500-Joshua Freeman, 4, Anchorage
  • $2,500-Allan Kendal, 13, Anchorage
  • $2,500-Cole Knight, 16, Wasilla
  • $2,500-Allen Starr, 12, Tanana

The UA College Savings Plan offered the giveaway to encourage Alaska families to set aside half of their Permanent Fund Dividends for higher education expenses. Everyone who checked "yes" on line six of their 2010 PFD application was automatically entered in the drawing.

Linda English, college savings plan director, said the scholarship accounts will provide "a nice boost" to each family's existing savings.

Plan beneficiaries can use the UA College Savings Plan to pay for educational expenses at any eligible college, university, or vocational/technical school in the country, not just UA. Families can open a tax-advantaged account with as little as $50.

The UA College Savings Plan will offer the giveaway again next year. The PFD application period begins Jan. 1, 2011 and runs until March 31, 2011. For more information about the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend and the line six checkoff, go to

For more information about the UA College Savings Plan and the scholarship account giveaway, go to

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