The Nebraska Educational Savings Trust is giving away three iPad Air 2 tablets in a drawing to promote awareness of Nebraska NEST Financial Scholars for Families, a free, online tutorial for parents and grandparents about college savings, State Treasurer Don Stenberg said today.
The drawing runs from March 1 to March 31. Winners will be announced April 25.
The tutorial, which takes about 15 minutes to complete, can be accessed at the Treasurer’s website at treasurer.nebraska.gov. The tutorial was developed by the educational technology company, EverFi, of Washington, D.C., and is a companion piece to the Treasurer’s popular online financial literacy education program offered free to Nebraska high schools. More than 100 schools are expected to use the program this school year.
The Nebraska Educational Savings Trust, known as NEST, is Nebraska’s state-sponsored 529 college savings program established under Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code. Treasurer Stenberg is Trustee, and First National Bank of Omaha is Program Manager.
“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,” Stenberg said. “Once you view the online financial tutorial, click to enter the drawing for a free iPad. If you have viewed the tutorial previously, you can still enter again this year.”
Nebraskans who viewed the tutorial and entered a similar drawing in 2014 are invited to enter again this year by accessing a one-page refresher and clicking to enter this year’s drawing.
The NEST Scholars for Families online tutorial features sections on myths vs. facts about saving for college, 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.
Stenberg said the iPad campaign also is an opportunity to remind Nebraskans that they can deduct up to $10,000 a year when figuring state income taxes for contributions to Nebraska’s state-sponsored 529 college savings account for contributions made in that tax year. The campaign is also an opportunity to remind account owners that computer technology and equipment, including desk-top computers, laptops, and tablets, are now qualified expenses.
“As we travel the state to promote our financial literacy program for high school students and to award scholarships to winners of our various contests, we are reminded that we need to continually educate Nebraska families about the value of saving for college through NEST and the importance of starting to save when children are young,” Stenberg said. “The online tutorial developed by EverFi provides an excellent starting point for families who are beginning to plan for their children’s educational futures and are looking for responsible ways to save with favorable tax benefits.”
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.
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 email@example.com or at 402-471-1088.