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2014 Writing Contest
Contest Announced
Treasurer Stenberg Urges Seventh, Eighth Graders to Enter the 2014 ‘Why I Want to Go to College’ Writing Contest
Total of $14,000 in College Savings Accounts to Be Awarded as Prizes

The 12th annual “Why I Want to Go to College” writing contest for seventh and eighth graders was announced today by Nebraska State Treasurer Don Stenberg. The contest, open to students in Nebraska and across the United States, is sponsored by the Nebraska State Treasurer’s Office and the Omaha Storm Chasers.

Winners will receive contributions to Nebraska’s state-sponsored 529 college savings plans, ranging from $2,000 to $500 each. Three winners will be chosen in each of Nebraska’s three U.S. congressional districts, and three winners will be selected from outside Nebraska.

Winners from Nebraska will be recognized May 11 at the Omaha Storm Chasers’ game at Werner Park in Papillion, Neb.

“We look forward to the annual writing contest and to reading what seventh and eighth grade students say about the value of a college education. The students tend to share our strong belief that a college education not only widens employment opportunities, but also contributes to a young person’s overall sense of confidence, worth, and world view,” said Treasurer Stenberg, who is Trustee of NEST.

“The writing contest has been an effective way for young people to reflect on the value of a college education and to think about how they and their families will pay for college,” Stenberg said. “In previous years, the young writers have been honest and genuine and have focused on their families, their career goals, and their desire to serve their communities.”

The contest is an opportunity for seventh and eighth graders to add to their Nebraska Educational Savings Trust (NEST) accounts or to get started saving if they do not already have accounts, Stenberg said. “While parents are encouraged to start saving for their children’s education from birth, they can still accumulate substantial savings and take advantage of significant tax incentives by opening accounts when children are junior high school age,” he said.

Entries to the “Why I Want to Go to College” writing contest are limited to 750 words each and must be postmarked by March 28, 2014. The entries will be judged by faculty and students at the College of Education at the University of Nebraska at Omaha with final selections made by Treasurer Stenberg. Winners will be announced in early May.

First-place winners will each receive a $2,000 contribution to a Nebraska college savings plan. Second-place winners will each receive a $1,000 contribution to a college savings plan, and third-place winners will each receive a $500 contribution to a college savings plan. First-place winners from Nebraska will receive a one-night hotel stay in Omaha, and all Nebraska winners will receive tickets to the May 11 Storm Chasers’ game.

The following guidelines apply to contest entries:

  • No longer than 750 words.
  • Must be the student’s original work.
  • Must be typed, double spaced on 8 1/2 X 11-inch paper.
  • Must be accompanied with the required cover sheet found at
  • Rules can be found at
  • Entries to be mailed to the Omaha Storm Chasers, Attn: Andrea Stava, 12356 Ballpark Way, Papillion, NE 68046, postmarked by March 28, 2014.

About NEST

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 the Program Trustee. First National Bank of Omaha serves as the Program Manager, and all investments are approved by the Nebraska Investment Council. Currently, more than 215,000 families nationwide, including 62,000 families in Nebraska, are saving for their children's higher education through NEST. For more information, visit

  • Jana Langemach
  • Director of Communications
  • 402-471-8884