State Treasurer Don Stenberg today announced the kickoff of the 2012 “Why I Want to Go to College” essay contest.
For the past 10 years, the Nebraska Educational Savings Plan Trust has been asking seventh and eighth graders to write about why they want to go to college. Last year, a record 1,051 entries were received in the contest sponsored by the Nebraska State Treasurer’s Office and the Omaha Storm Chasers baseball team.
Those essays included these thoughts about students’ motivation for college: To find their place in the world. To make their families proud and to be role models for younger siblings. To follow in footsteps of parents and family members. Or, as Lauren Foss of Gretna wrote last year, “to discover what I should be doing with my life.”
“Would I make a good doctor, or maybe a teacher? What about a business woman? The future has so many things to choose from and a college education is going to help me make the right choice,” Lauren wrote.
The 2012 College Savings Program Essay Contest is again asking students to submit essays addressing the theme, “Why I Want to Go to College.” The essays are due April 6, 2012. They will be judged by faculty and students in the College of Education at the University of Nebraska at Omaha with final selections made by State Treasurer Don Stenberg.
“Growing up in a small town in Nebraska with loving, hard-working parents, I learned early that a college education would be important to my future happiness and success,” Treasurer Stenberg said. “Now as a father and grandfather, I am even more aware of the value of higher education for our young people, as well as for our state. Thriving communities, successful small businesses, healthy schools, and secure families all depend on an educated citizenry. The Nebraska Educational Savings Plan Trust strives to help parents and children achieve their educational goals and live their dreams.”
Three contest winners will be chosen in each of Nebraska’s three U.S. congressional districts. Three winners also will be selected from outside Nebraska. Winners will receive tickets to the Omaha Storm Chasers baseball game on May 20, 2012, in Werner Park in Papillion. First-place winners also will each receive a $1,000 contribution to a Nebraska college savings plan and a one-night hotel stay in Omaha. Second-place winners will each receive a $500 contribution to a college savings plan, and third-place winners will each receive a $300 contribution to a college savings plan. Winners from outside Nebraska will receive contributions to a college savings plan.
The following guidelines apply:
NEST is a tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan and provides four plans to help make saving for college simple and affordable: NEST Direct College Savings Plan, the NEST Advisor College Savings Plan, the TD Ameritrade 529 College Savings Plan, and the State Farm College Savings Plan. The Nebraska State Treasurer serves as Program Trustee. First National Bank of Omaha serves as Program Manager, and all investments are approved by the Nebraska Investment Council. Families nationwide are saving for college using Nebraska’s 529 College Savings Plans, which have more than 261,000 accounts, including 84,000 in Nebraska. Visit NEST529.com and treasurer.nebraska.gov for more information.