The 16th annual “Why I Want to Go to College” writing contest, sponsored by the Nebraska State Treasurer’s Office and the Omaha Storm Chasers, is getting underway with entries due March 2, 2018. The writing contest is open to seventh and eighth graders.
Twelve winners will receive contributions to Nebraska Educational Savings Trust (NEST) college savings accounts including $2,000 for first place, $1,000 for second place, and $500 for third place. Three winners will be chosen from each of Nebraska’s three Congressional districts, and thee winners will be chosen from outside Nebraska.
Nebraska winners will be recognized at home plate on May 6 at the Storm Chasers game at Werner Park in Papillion. Each Nebraska winner will receive four tickets to the game.
“Congratulating contest winners with a ceremony at Werner Park is one of the highlights of the year,” said State Treasurer Don Stenberg, Trustee of NEST. “I enjoy meeting the young people and hearing about their plans for their future, and I also enjoy meeting the parents, grandparents, and siblings who provide enormous support, encouragement, and inspiration to these young people. The writing contest provides an opportunity for young people to learn about saving for higher education and, at the same time, polish their writing skills for high school and later.”
Families can save for college for their children and grandchildren through NEST, the state-sponsored 529 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.
Students are asked to reflect in their written entries on the value of education and what they hope to achieve through higher education. Entries are limited to 750 words and must be typed, double-spaced on 8 ½- X 11-inch paper. They will be judged by students and faculty at Midland University in Fremont.
Details about the writing contest are available on the Treasurer’s website at treasurer.nebraska.gov/csp/scholarships/essay/college/2018/contest-announcement.
Entries must be postmarked by March 2, 2018, and mailed to Becki Frishman, Omaha Storm Chasers, 12356 Ballpark Way, Papillion, NE 68046.
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 254,000 accounts, including 79,000 in Nebraska. Visit NEST529.com and treasurer.nebraska.gov for more information.
About First National Bank of Omaha
First National Bank is a subsidiary of First National of Nebraska. First National of Nebraska is the largest privately owned banking company in the United States. First National and its affiliates have more than $21 billion in assets and 5,000 employee associates. Primary banking offices are located in Nebraska, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota and Texas.