15th Annual NEST ‘Why I Want to Go to College’ Writing Contest

Posted By: Channel 8 Eyewitness News


Lincoln, Neb.

Seventh and eighth graders are being encouraged to enter the 15th annual “Why I Want to Go to College” writing contest, sponsored by Nebraska State Treasurer Don Stenberg and the Omaha Storm Chasers. Entries are due March 17.

Winners will receive Nebraska Educational Savings Trust (NEST) scholarships ranging from $500 to $2,000. Nebraska winners also will receive tickets to the May 21 Storm Chasers game at Werner Park in Papillion. In all, 12 winners will be selected—nine from Nebraska and three from outside the state.

“In this, Nebraska’s Sesquicentennial year, we are excited to be celebrating a milestone at NEST, the 15th year of the writing contest for seventh and eighth graders. Each year, the contest provides us at NEST an opportunity to meet young Nebraskans and read about their educational and career goals and the people who inspire them,” said State Treasurer Stenberg, Trustee of NEST. “This contest reminds us of our mission and of the importance of helping families save for their children’s educational needs through wise, responsible investment choices with significant tax advantages.”

Stenberg is asking school administrators, teachers, and parents to encourage students to enter the contest and to learn more about saving for college. Students in public schools, private schools, and home schools are encouraged to enter. He reminded students that the contest is an opportunity to practice good writing skills and to learn to express themselves clearly and persuasively, as well as to begin saving for college or to add to their existing savings.

“Families easily can save for college for their children and grandchildren through the Nebraska Educational Savings Trust, the state-sponsored college savings program that allows for tax-free investments and tax-free qualified withdrawals. Nebraska account owners qualify for up to $10,000 a year in state income tax deductions,” Stenberg said.

Three winners will be chosen in each of Nebraska’s three U.S. Congressional districts, and three winners will be selected from outside Nebraska. First-place winners will each receive a $2,000 contribution to a NEST college savings plan. Second-place winners will each receive a $1,000 contribution to a NEST plan, and third-place winners will each receive a $500 contribution to a NEST plan. Each Nebraska winner will receive four tickets to the May 21 Storm Chasers game.

A total of 1,133 entries were received last year. As in the past, preliminary judging will be done by students and faculty in the College of Education at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and final selections will be made by Treasurer Stenberg.

Entries are due March 17. Contest rules are available at https://treasurer.nebraska.gov/csp/scholarships/essay/college/2017/contest-announcement

The following rules apply to entries:

  • Must be focused on the student’s educational goals and dreams for the future.
  • Must be student’s original work.
  • Must be typed, double-spaced on 8 ½ X 11-inch paper.
  • Must be no more than 750 words in length.
  • Must be accompanied by required cover sheet found on the Treasurer’s website with the rules.
  • Must be postmarked by March 17, 2017. Winners will be notified in late April.
  • Mail entries to Becki Frishman, Omaha Storm Chasers, 12356 Ballpark Way, Papillion, NE 68046.