College Savings Program Announces 2011 Essay Contest

By: Courtesy: Neb. State Treasurer's Office Email
By: Courtesy: Neb. State Treasurer's Office Email

Seventh and eighth grade students are invited to submit entries to the 9th Annual Essay Contest associated with the Nebraska College Savings Program and sponsored by the Omaha Storm Chasers Baseball Club and the Nebraska State Treasurer’s Office.

Essays should be no more than 750 words each and should address the theme, “Why I Want to Go to College.” Students in public, private, and home schools are invited to submit essays. The contest is intended to encourage students to recognize the value of a college education by describing their educational goals and their dreams for the future. Information about the contest is available through local schools and on the State Treasurer website at www.treasurer.org.

“Given today’s global economy and rapidly advancing technology, the value of a college education cannot be overstated,” said State Treasurer Don Stenberg. “Our well educated children and grandchildren will provide new ideas and leadership to move our state and our country forward.”

Essay submissions should be sent to Andrea Stava, community relations manager, at Omaha Storm Chasers, 12356 Ballpark Way, Papillion, NE 68046. Entries must be postmarked by April 20, 2011.

First, second, and third place winners will be selected from each of Nebraska’s three Congressional Districts. First, second, and third place winners from outside of Nebraska also will be selected. The winners will be announced in early May. The essays will be judged based on content by faculty and students in the College of Education at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Winners from each Congressional District will receive the following prizes, courtesy the Omaha Storm Chasers and the State Treasurer’s Office:
First place - $1,000 toward one of Nebraska’s College Savings plans, a one-night stay at a premier hotel in the Omaha area, and four tickets to the Omaha Storm Chasers game on Sunday, May 22, as guests of State Treasurer Stenberg. Second place - $500 toward one of Nebraska’s College Savings plans, and four tickets to the Omaha Storm Chasers game on Sunday, May 22, as guests of Treasurer Stenberg. Third place - $300 toward one of Nebraska’s College Savings plans and four tickets to the Omaha Storm Chasers game on Sunday, May 22, as guests of Treasurer Stenberg.

Winners from outside of Nebraska will receive monetary prizes for first, second, and third places.

The following guidelines apply for all participants:
The essay must be no longer than 750 words. The essay must be the student’s original work. The essay must be double spaced, typed or handwritten, on 8 1/2 by 11 paper. The essay must be accompanied with the required cover sheet. Essay rules and the cover sheet can be accessed at www.treasurer.org. Click on the College Savings Plan link.

Families can easily save for their children’s college educations through the Nebraska College Savings Program. Plans allow for tax-free investments, and qualified withdrawals are federal and state income tax free. Account owners qualify for up to $5,000 a year in state income tax deductions.*

Nebraska’s College Savings Program provides four plans to help make saving for college simple and affordable. The plans are qualified tuition programs under Section 529 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, which governs all state programs. The four plans in the Nebraska Educational Savings Plan Trust are the 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 the Program Trustee. First National Bank of Omaha serves as the Program Manager, and all investments are approved by the Nebraska Investment Council.

For more information about the essay contest or the Nebraska College Savings Program, visit the State Treasurer’s Office website at www.treasurer.org.


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