Financial Literacy 'Personal Finance Challenge' 2013
State Treasurer Stenberg Announces $14,000 in College Savings Plan
Scholarships for Nebraska High School Students

State Treasurer Don Stenberg announced today that the Nebraska Educational Savings Trust (NEST) will award $14,000 in college savings plan scholarships to Nebraska high school students who are on winning teams in the Personal Finance Challenge competition.

The Personal finance Challenge competition is sponsored by the Nebraska Council on Economic Education. Each year teams of high school students from across the state take part in an online competition that tests the students’ knowledge on essential concepts of personal finance, including income, money management, spending, credit, savings, and investing. The top-scoring teams move on to face-to-face competition with the winning team advancing to a national competition in St. Louis, MO.

The four members of the first-place team in the 2013 Personal Finance Challenge each will receive a $2,000 scholarship for a NEST college savings plan. The four members of the second-place team will each receive a $1,000 scholarship for a NEST savings account, and the four members of the third-place team will each receive $500 toward a NEST savings account.

An estimated 3,200 Nebraska students from 9th to 12th grade, guided by 200 teachers, take part in the online finance Challenge competition each year.

“As the chief financial officer of the state and as a parent and grandparent, I firmly believe that we must emphasize and promote financial literacy for young Nebraskans. That education will help them reach their goals and achieve their dreams,” State Treasurer Stenberg said.

“My parents lived through the Great Depression. So when I was growing up in Tekamah, Nebraska, they emphasized the need to be careful handling money. Later, my education at the Harvard Business School provided me the opportunity to gain a very solid understanding of budgeting and finance. As Nebraska State Treasurer, I use that knowledge every day in addressing the important financial matters that come before me,” Stenberg said.

“Given that perspective, it has become clear to me that we need to do all we can to promote financial literacy among young Nebraskans,” he said.

Treasurer Stenberg said providing prizes for the Personal Finance Challenge is one of a series of initiatives to promote financial literacy that the Treasurer’s Office will be undertaking in 2013. Other measures will be announced later.

Stenberg said: “It is also my hope that these NEST scholarship prizes will increase the awareness of parents and grandparents of Nebraska’s College Savings Plan and how that plan can help them prepare for their children’s and grandchildren’s higher education. At NEST we encourage children to dream for their future and parents to save for those dreams.”

“The Nebraska Council on Economic Education is pleased to partner with the Office of the Treasurer of the State of Nebraska to promote financial literacy in schools throughout our state,” said Roger Butters, president of the Council. “With support from Treasurer Stenberg and the NEST College Savings Program, the Council will be dramatically expanding its Finance Challenge competition to students and teachers in grades 9-12.”

Butters said, starting in 2013, the finance Challenge competition will be divided into three geographical regions for students in Lincoln, Omaha, and western Nebraska. Student teams will compete online for a chance to compete in regional competitions. At the regional competitions, the student teams will prepare and present financial plans for review by area banking and financial experts. Members of the top three teams in the state will be awarded NEST college savings plans by the Treasurer’s Office.

“This type of partnership between the State of Nebraska, K-12, higher education and private industry is one of the things that makes Nebraska unique in the nation as we lead the charge to ensure that every student receives a comprehensive economic and personal finance education,” Butters said. “As today’s students master economic literacy, they will be able to better plan for the future and achieve their dreams. Working together to ensure a bright future for today’s students helps ensure a bright future for Nebraska.”

The Nebraska Council on Economic Education is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the economic and financial literacy of Nebraska students. The Council sponsors education programs, courses, and educator workshops across the state. The Council is housed at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and has centers at UNL, UNO, UNK, Wayne State College, and Chadron State College.

For more information about NEST, please visit the 'College Savings' section of the Nebraska State Treasurer’s website.

For more information about the Nebraska Council on Economic Education, visit

'FinanceChallenge ONLINE!' page on Nebraska Council on Economic Education website:

Official Nebraska FinanceChallenge Page:

Official Nebraska FinanceChallenge State Selector Page for other states:

About NEST

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 Bloomwell 529 Education Savings Plan, and the State Farm 529 Savings Plan. The Nebraska State Treasurer serves as Program Trustee. Union Bank & Trust Company 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 285,000 accounts, including over 94,000 in Nebraska. Visit and for more information.

Investments Are Not FDIC Insured* · No Bank, State or Federal Guarantee · May Lose Value
*Except the Bank Savings Static Investment Option Underlying Investment
  • Jana Langemach
  • Director of Communications
  • 402-471-8884