Treasurer Stenberg is Trustee of NEST, the state-sponsored 529 college savings program, which takes its name from Section 529 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. The prizes consist of a scholarship contribution, ranging from $500 to $2,000, to a NEST college savings plan for each of the members of the top three teams in Nebraska.
This is the second year that the Nebraska Educational Savings Trust has provided college savings accounts for the Finance Challenge winners.
To prepare for the statewide competition in April, Treasurer Stenberg encouraged Nebraska high schools to take advantage of a new online financial educational program developed by EverFi, an educational technology company in Washington, D.C., and offered free of charge to schools and students by the Nebraska Educational Savings Trust and, in some instances, by local banks.
The EverFi program is available to Nebraska high schools and students through the State Treasurer’s website at www.treasurer.org. The program is called Nebraska NEST Financial Scholars for Students.
“I am here today for three reasons: One, to encourage Nebraska high school students to take part in the 2014 Personal Finance Challenge competition. Two, to encourage Nebraska students to take full advantage of our online Nebraska NEST Financial Scholars program. And three, to encourage families to consider savings for higher education with our excellent savings plans offered by the Nebraska Education Savings Trust ,” Stenberg said at separate news conferences conducted today at Grand Island Northwest High School, Kearney High School, and Columbus Lakeview High School.
“The Personal Finance Challenge statewide competition sponsored annually by the Nebraska Council on Economic Education is an excellent way to promote education on economics and personal finance in high schools throughout our state,” Stenberg said. About 3,200 Nebraska high school students, guided by 200 teachers, took part in the Finance Challenge last year.
“The Nebraska NEST Financial Scholars online program offers an ideal way for high school students to prepare for the Finance Challenge competition,” Stenberg said. “The two complement each other perfectly and provide our young people with the incentive and the knowledge they need to live out their dreams as financially responsible adults.”
The regional live Finance Challenge competitions will take place April 19 in Lincoln, Omaha, and Kearney after students have completed individual online tests. The winning team will advance to the national competition May 2 in St. Louis, Mo. The top team in Nebraska last year was from Johnson-Brock High School.
To find out more about the competition and how to enter, teachers and students will find details at www.financechallenge.org. Click on Nebraska in the U.S. map or select Nebraska from the dropdown menu. Click on The Rules on the left navigational panel.
The EverFi web-based curriculum available through Nebraska NEST Financial Scholars helps students learn critical life skills regarding personal finance and money management, focusing on college savings, credit cards, credit scores, insurance, interest rates, mortgages, and stocks. The course is offered in 10 modules and can be completed in a total of about eight hours. Students who finish the program receive certificates and badges they can post to their favorite social media platforms and refer to on applications for college and for employment.
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. More than 214,000 families nationwide, including 61,000 families in Nebraska, are saving for their children’s higher education through NEST. For more information, visit www.treasurer.org/cs/.