Nebraska State Treasurer Don Stenberg is reminding seventh and eighth graders that entries to the NEST “Why I Want to Go to College” writing contest are due March 17.
The 15th annual writing contest, which was announced in January, is sponsored by State Treasurer Stenberg and the Omaha Storm Chasers. Twelve winners – nine from Nebraska and three from outside the state -- will receive contributions to Nebraska Educational Savings Trust (NEST) college savings accounts ranging from $500 to $2,000. Each Nebraska winner also will receive four tickets to the May 21 Storm Chasers game at Werner Park in Papillion.
“This writing contest is an excellent opportunity for seventh and eighth graders to practice their writing skills and to articulate their reasons for going to college. The writing contest is also an opportune time for seventh and eighth graders to talk to their parents about how their college educations will be financed and how they can help,” said Treasurer Stenberg, Trustee of NEST.
Stenberg urged families to consider the Nebraska Educational Savings Trust when saving for college.
“Nebraska’s excellent state-sponsored college savings program allows for tax-free investments and tax-free qualified withdrawals and is a wise and responsible way for families to save for college. Nebraska account owners qualify for up to $10,000 a year in state income tax deductions,” Stenberg said.
In the writing contest, 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 account, and third-place winners will each receive a $500 NEST contribution.
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.
Contest rules are available at the top of this page ("Poster & Rules" link).
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.