SAVINGFORCOLLEGE.COM, PRECISION INFORMATION TEAM TO OFFER COLLEGE SAVINGS TUTORIALS: Savingforcollege.com, an online provider of education funding advice and tools, has signed a deal to feature interactive tutorials created by Precision Information.

The tutorials, which cover bonds, financial planning, mutual funds and investment strategy, feature topics such as asset allocation, mutual fund expenses and dollar-cost averaging. The tutorials are available online at www.savingforcollege.com.

In addition to the 20 tutorials, Savingforcollege.com will offer its users a discount on PI’s flagship product, The Encyclopedia of Personal Finance 2004.

COLLEGE COSTS ON THE RISE AGAIN: If you’re an advisor who offers advice on paying for college, your services may be in more demand by parents who plan to pay for their kids’ higher education.

Average tuition and fees for in-state students at public four-year colleges and universities for the 2003-2004 academic year rose by 14.1 percent, to $4,694, according to The College Board’s 2003 Trends in College Pricing Report. Add in room and board charges, and the average total charges at four-year public colleges and universities jumps by 9.8 percent, to $10,636 (an 8.7 percent increase in inflation-adjusted dollars). Average private four-year college tuition and fees rose by 6 percent, to $19,710. Total charges, including room, board, tuition and fees, crept up by 5.7 percent, to $26,854.

The average cost of tuition and fees at all four-year collegiate institutions, adjusted for inflation, is 47 percent higher than it was a decade ago, while the average cost of tuition and fees at all private institutions is 42 percent higher.

MALDEN NAMED FINANCIAL EXEC OF THE YEAR: The Institute of Management Accountants and Robert Half International Inc. have named Nicholas Malden the National Financial Executive of the Year. Malden is vice president, chief financial officer and secretary of Arizona-based Ventana Medical Systems Inc., an automated diagnostic systems manufacturing firm. The award honors the exceptional achievements of professionals in the accounting and finance fields.

HANCOCK LAUNCHES UNIVERSAL LIFE PRODUCT FOR SMALL BIZ MARKET: John Hancock has rolled out a universal life policy for small and midsized businesses. The product, Performance Executive UL, provides immediate death benefit protection, high early cash values and no surrender charges, as well as the option to use an enhanced cash value rider to attain higher early surrender values.

Other features include guaranteed and simplified issue classes for multi-life cases to expedite underwriting, and disability payment of specified premium rider, which provides payment of the policy’s planned premium if the insured becomes disabled. The product has a minimum face amount requirement of $100,000.

FPA, ING TEAM TO PROMOTE FINANCIAL PLANNING: The Financial Planning Association has teamed with financial services firm ING on a program to recognize planners and to promote financial planning to the public.

Dubbed “A Fresh Approach,” the program will highlight the work of financial planners who have used innovation in their approach to planning in a series of advertorials in Money magazine. The first of the 10 planned two-page ads, paid for by ING, debuts this month. It will feature New York-based certified financial planner Claire Strenstrom, who helped the FPA implement a pro bono program to asist people impacted by the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Nominations can be made at www.money.com/afreshapproach. Nominations will be reviewed by FPA and ING, but selections will be made by an independent committee organized by Money.

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