First National Bank of Omaha and Nebraska State Treasurer Don Stenberg today announced that 202 account owners nationwide will receive a total of $31,058 in scholarship money into NEST 529 college savings accounts for their children and grandchildren. Winners needed to open and contribute to a new NEST Advisor or NEST Direct College Savings Plan account for a beneficiary 8 years old or younger to qualify.
“We know how important it is to start saving early for a child’s higher education. These scholarships were designed to encourage families with young children to begin saving for college,” said Stenberg, Trustee of NEST.
For the NEST Advisor College Savings Plan, new accounts were opened by both grandparents and parents from nine states, including Nebraska. Two account owners were randomly selected as winners to receive scholarships of $5,529 each, provided by First National Bank of Omaha, Program Manager for NEST, Nebraska’s 529 college savings plans. Sarah Barth of Lincoln, Neb., won a scholarship for her grandson Everett. Alexander C. Williams of Anchorage, Alaska, won for his child Madeline.
For the NEST Direct College Savings Plan, the first eligible 200 new accounts each will receive $100 deposited into a NEST Direct Plan account, also provided by First National Bank of Omaha. Winners included 96 grandparents, 101 parents, and three related to beneficiaries in other ways. Of the winners, 165 were from Nebraska; seven from Missouri; five from Texas; three each from Colorado, Florida, Georgia, and Iowa; and the remaining from 11 other states and the District of Columbia.
“We look forward to adding these new accounts to our excellent college savings program and to helping these families make wise investment choices for the higher education needs of their children and grandchildren. Starting to save when children are young is the best way to gain the maximum benefit from state-sponsored college savings programs. That is our message to Nebraska families and to our NEST account owners nationwide,” Treasurer Stenberg said.
“This contest proved to be a great impetus for parents and grandparents alike to show their children and grandchildren the importance of higher education through their commitment to save for their future,” said Deborah Goodkin, Managing Director of NEST at First National Bank of Omaha. “NEST recognizes the importance of achieving savings goals by starting early. We are pleased that many people throughout the United States received that message and took advantage of the offer to open a new account.”
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.