Nebraska State Treasurer Don Stenberg is encouraging seventh and eighth graders to enter the 14th annual “Why I Want to Go to College” writing contest for a chance to win a Nebraska Educational Savings Trust (NEST) scholarship and a ticket to the May 1 Storm Chasers game at Werner Park in Papillion.
The annual writing contest is sponsored by the Nebraska State Treasurer’s Office and the Omaha Storm Chasers.
Three winners will be chosen in each of Nebraska’s three U.S. Congressional districts, and three winners will be selected from outside Nebraska. First-place winners will each receive a $2,000 contribution to a NEST college savings plan. Second-place winners will each receive a $1,000 contribution to a NEST plan, and third-place winners will each receive a $500 contribution to a NEST plan. Nebraska winners and their families will receive tickets to the May 1 game.
“The writing contest is an ideal opportunity for seventh- and eighth-grade students to reflect on their educational goals and their future career possibilities. At the same time, the contest is an opportunity for students to practice good writing skills, to learn to express themselves clearly and persuasively, and to begin saving for college or to add to their existing savings,” Stenberg said.
Stenberg asked school administrators, teachers, and parents to encourage students to enter the contest and to learn more about saving for college. Students in public schools, private schools, and home schools are invited to enter.
“Families easily can save for college for their children and grandchildren through the Nebraska Educational Savings Trust, the state-sponsored college savings program that allows for tax-free investments and tax-free qualified withdrawals. Nebraska account owners qualify for up to $10,000 a year in state income tax deductions,” Stenberg said.
A total of 1,064 entries were received last year. As in the past, preliminary judging will be done by students and faculty in the College of Education at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and final selections will be made by Treasurer Stenberg.
Entries are due March 18. Contest rules are available at top of this page.
The following rules apply to entries:
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.
About First National Bank of Omaha
First National Bank of Omaha is a subsidiary of First National of Nebraska. First National of Nebraska and its affiliates have more than $23 billion in assets and 5,000 employee associates. Primary banking offices are located in Nebraska, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota and Texas.