Bashar W. Hanna Appointed by Gov. Wolf to PA Tuition Account Program Advisory Board
Bloomsburg, PA (11/01/2022) — Dr. Bashar W. Hanna, president of Commonwealth University has been appointed to serve on Pennsylvania's Tuition Account Program (TAP) Advisory Board by Gov. Tom Wolf. Hanna's appointment runs from September 2022 to September 2026.
The board advises on the work of the Pennsylvania 529 College Savings Program, which provides families with a tax-advantaged way to help save for their children's higher education.
State Treasurer Stacy Garrity, a 1986 graduate of Bloomsburg University, oversees the PA 529 program.
"I am honored by Governor Wolf's appointment to serve on the Tuition Account Program Advisory Board," Hanna said. "The PA 529 program is one of the most worthwhile programs offered by the state and assists families with paying college tuition. The mission of the 529 program matches the mission of Commonwealth University, which is to provide a world class, financially responsible degree option that maximizes experiential learning, career preparation, and efficient time to graduation. I look forward to working with such a distinguished group of individuals, including Treasurer Garrity."
PA 529 accounts are designed to help Pennsylvania families steadily and strategically save for future educational expenses. The PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan allows families to save at today's tuition rates to meet tomorrow's tuition costs.
More than 276,000 PA 529 accounts are open, with over $6 billion saved for future education. Over the program's more than 30 years, it has helped families pay for more than $5 billion in qualified higher education expenses.
"I'm excited to have Dr. Hanna join the TAP Advisory Board," Treasurer Garrity said. "He will bring a unique and important perspective to the board with his vast experience in higher education, his proven dedication to helping students, and his lifelong passion for teaching. As we continue to make the PA 529 College & Career Savings Program work better for all Pennsylvanians, Dr. Hanna will be a strong voice in support of students and their families."
In total there are 19 members, five ex officio and 14 appointed, including six by the governor. Of the six members appointed by the Governor, one must be the president of a Pennsylvania community college, one must be the president of a university in the State System of Higher Education, and one must be the president of a Pennsylvania private or independent four-year, degree granting college or university.
The advisory board meets quarterly during the year and among its duties the board reviews and approves an annual report to the Governor and the General Assembly.
The integration of Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, and Mansfield universities under the banner of Commonwealth University is a bold investment in the communities and people of Pennsylvania. Our mission is to expand high-quality, affordable academic opportunities to support the needs of all learners. We're building a powerful tomorrow by boldly changing the trajectory of public higher education to position ourselves for growth, increased access, and to meet economic and workforce development needs. Together we're honoring our history, investing in today, and building a powerful tomorrow. That's the power of three.