An iPad Air 2 will be given away in December as part of a statewide campaign to promote awareness of a free, online tutorial to learn more about saving for college, State Treasurer Don Stenberg said today.
Nebraskans can access the tutorial at www.treasurer.org. Users should click on iPad sweepstakes link at the top of the homepage to get started.
Viewers who complete the tutorial between Nov. 10 and Dec. 10 may choose to enter a random drawing for an iPad Air 2 Wi-Fi 64GB. The winner will be announced the week of Dec. 15.
“Our financial literacy program for high schools, which is now in its second year, has gotten off to a strong start, and we want more Nebraskans to know about our companion program designed to help parents, grandparents, and others learn more about state-sponsored 529 college savings programs in general and the Nebraska Educational Savings Trust (NEST) program in particular,” Stenberg said. State-sponsored 529 college savings programs take their name from Section 529 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.
The online tutorial, which takes less than 15 minutes to complete, features sections on myths vs. facts, tax incentives, and a knowledge check. Viewers can return to the tutorial as often as they like to find answers to specific questions or to review the content at leisure. The campaign also is an opportunity to remind Nebraska taxpayers that they are now able to deduct up to $10,000 a year when figuring state income taxes for contributions to a NEST account.
The tutorial was developed by the educational technology company EverFi, Inc., of Washington, D.C., and is sponsored in Nebraska by the Nebraska Educational Savings Trust, a division of the Nebraska State Treasurer’s Office. Stenberg is Trustee of NEST, and First National Bank of Omaha is program manager.
“We want all Nebraskans to know about the benefits of saving for college through the state-sponsored Nebraska Educational Trust. NEST is a wise and responsible way for families to put away money for college for their children and grandchildren as college costs continue to rise,” Stenberg said. “Starting a NEST college savings account when a child is young enables a family to build on that account and put themselves in a better position to face the cost of college when the time comes.”
Stenberg emphasized that in addition to parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, family friends, and individuals themselves who may be heading back to college to finish degrees or purse advanced degrees may also set up accounts and may find useful information in the NEST Financial Scholars tutorial.
“If you have already set up a savings account for a child or grandchild through NEST, thank you. You are in good company. NEST has more than $3.6 billion in assets with 220,000 accounts nationwide, including 63,000 in Nebraska,” Stenberg said. “If you are thinking about saving for college for a child or grandchild—or a niece, nephew, or friend—but aren’t sure how—or when—to begin, we invite you to take a look at the free tutorial offered by NEST. It may just be the best 15 minutes you have spent in a long time.”
For more information about how to set up a NEST account or how to increase contributions to an existing account, Treasurer Stenberg recommends contacting Rachel Biar at Rachel.firstname.lastname@example.org or at 402-471-1088. Prospective account owners can also find information at www.NEST529.com.