Saver Success Spotlight: Haley Phillips Makes a Childhood Dream Come True

Layout canvas

The Freedom to Focus on Education


Haley Phillips: First Grade Teacher

School: University of New Mexico
Graduated: 2019
Degree: Education

“It feels great not having student loan debt. I can focus on my career and life after college without worrying about paying student loans for years.”

Picture this: A young girl is in her room, arranging dolls and stuffed animals in tidy rows. She prepares her lesson plan, assumes her place at the front of the class and begins to teach. The next day, unsatisfied with her passive pupils, she recruits her younger brother to join her class.

Meet Haley. She’s been a teacher at heart since arranging that first classroom of stuffed animals decades ago. She made it official this year when she took the helm of her first classroom of elementary school students in the Albuquerque Public Schools.

Haley’s grandmother, Trish, played a pivotal role in helping her attain her childhood goal of becoming a teacher. Back when Haley was still giving her stuffed animals English lessons, Trish opened a 529 account with The Education Plan for her. The account grew over the years and eventually paid for Haley’s bachelor’s degree in education from the University of New Mexico—and more.

“It was such a relief knowing that I could focus on college and not worry about how I was going to pay for it,” Haley says. I would have had a ton of student loan debt without my 529 savings.”

Haley’s 529 plan allowed her the freedom to focus on her education, hone her leadership skills as a recruitment coordinator for her sorority and participate in extracurriculars that helped her develop career skills like public speaking. It also helped her purchase the tools she needed to succeed.

“In addition to paying for tuition and fees, my 529 paid for my MacBook and iPad, she says. “I don’t know what I would have done without those tools to get me through. There’s no way I would have been able to afford to buy equipment in addition to paying for college without the savings from my 529.”

A Classroom of Her Own

Today Haley is figuring out her first year of teaching first grade, doing DIY craft projects at home and practicing yoga. She’s also considering opening a 529 account for herself to help pay for a master’s degree in education.

“It feels great not having student loan debt,” she says. “I can focus on my career and life after college without worrying about paying student loans for years. I recommend anyone who has kids or grandkids to start as early as you can and save often. Ask for gifts to your account from family and friends. Your loved one will be so grateful, like I am, for the gift of education and no debt.”





The Education Plan® and The Education Plan® Logo are registered trademarks of The Education Trust Board of New Mexico used under license.

Privacy & Cookie Policy

Phone: 1-877-337-5268
We're available Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. MT


For more information about The Education Plan, call 1.877.337.5268 or view the Plan Description and Participation Agreement, which includes investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information; read and consider it carefully before investing.

Please Note: Before you invest, consider whether your or the beneficiary’s home state offers any state tax or other state benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors that are only available for investments in that state’s qualified tuition program. You also should consult a financial, tax, or other advisor to learn more about how state-based benefits (or any limitations) would apply to your specific circumstances. You also may wish to contact directly your home state’s 529 plan(s), or any other 529 plan, to learn more about those plan’s features, benefits and limitations. Keep in mind that state-based benefits should be one of many appropriately weighted factors to be considered when making an investment decision.

The Education Plan is administered by The Education Trust Board of New Mexico. Ascensus College Savings Recordkeeping Services, LLC, the Program Manager, and its affiliates, have overall responsibility for the day-today operations, including investment advisory, recordkeeping and administrative services. The Education Plan’s portfolios invest in: (i) mutual funds; (ii) exchange traded funds; and/or (iii) a funding agreement issued by New York Life. Investments in The Education Plan are not insured by the FDIC. Units of the portfolios are municipal securities and the value of units will vary with market conditions.

Investment returns will vary depending upon the performance of the portfolios you choose. You could lose all or a portion of your money by investing in The Education Plan depending on market conditions. Account owners assume all investment risks as well as responsibility for any federal and state tax consequences.

Ugift is a registered service mark of Ascensus Broker Dealer Services, LLC.

The Education Plan® and The Education Plan® Logo are registered trademarks of The Education Trust Board of New Mexico used under license.

All other marks are the exclusive property of their respective owners.

Not FDIC-Insured. No Bank, State or Federal Guarantee. May Lose Value.