News & Press Releases
Treasurer Wooden recognizes student winners of CHET Dream Big! Competition
HARTFORD, CT – Winners of the statewide 2019 CHET Dream Big! Competition, which asks students to share their dreams about life after college through drawings and essays, were recognized at last Thursday night’s Hartford Yard Goats game against the Trenton Thunder.
Four grand prize winners will each receive a $1,000 contribution to a CHET college savings account, and 44 additional students in kindergarten through eighth grade will receive $500 contributions.
“I am incredibly impressed with the heartfelt essays and expressive artwork that our talented young entrants produced for this year’s competition. It’s clear that a lot of time and effort were spent on these entries. I congratulate all who entered, along with their teachers and parents. It was challenging to pick winners from among more than 2,000 submissions,” said State Treasurer Shawn T. Wooden, who serves as Trustee for CHET.
Since inception, the CHET Dream Big! Competition has made contributions to 820 accounts, totaling more than $291,000. More than 36,000 Connecticut students have shared their college dreams in Dream Big! entries.
For the Dream Big! Competition, kindergarteners through third graders were asked to share artwork depicting what they want to do after they go to college. Fourth through eighth grade students were asked to answer in a 250 word essay how they will change the world after college.
Dream Big! entries were judged within four grade groups – K-1, 2-3, 4-5, and 6-8 – based on theme, originality and creativity. Drawings also were evaluated based on artistic design and attractiveness with essays judged on overall grammar, spelling and punctuation.
Six $500 School Prizes Awarded to Top Participating Schools
CHET Dream Big! entrants were very specific about what they wanted to be when they grew up. Professions included FBI agents, pediatric surgeons, mechanical engineers, marine biologists, chemists, space scientists, mechanics, teachers, architects and entrepreneurs just to name a few.
Additionally, the CHET Dream Big! Competition awarded six schools a $500 prize for having the highest percentage of student submissions.
2019 CHET Dream Big! School winners include: Gainfield Elementary School, Southbury; Vance Village Elementary School, New Britain; Madison Elementary School, Bridgeport; George Hersey Robertson School, Coventry; North Stonington Elementary School, North Stonington; MacDonough Elementary School, Middletown; and Sarah Noble Intermediate School, New Milford.
The Dream Big! Competition is sponsored by the State Treasurer’s Office, TIAA, Tuition Financing, Inc. (TFI) and CHET. It is funded by TFI, the program manager; no state funds are used for awards issued through the Dream Big! Competition.
A gallery of winners and their entries are viewable at www.chetdreambig.com.
The Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET) direct-sold college savings plan was established in 1997 and as of December 31, 2018 has grown to more than $2.9 billion in assets and 125,000 accounts. Nearly $1.9 billion has been withdrawn from CHET accounts to help more than 51,000 students pay for college expenses.
The State of Connecticut offers CHET to help families save for future college costs. Funds deposited into a CHET account have tax advantages and can be used at accredited colleges and universities across the country, including vocational and technical schools, and some colleges abroad.
Connecticut residents are allowed to deduct 529 contributions from their state income taxes – up to $5,000 for an individual or up to $10,000 for a married couple filing jointly. Investment earnings are exempt from state and federal taxes if used for qualified educational expenses.
The CHET direct-sold plan is managed by TIAA Tuition Financing, Inc. For more information about CHET, visit www.aboutchet.com or call the customer service center at (866) 314-3939. Find us on Facebook (facebook.com/CHETcollegesavings) or follow us on Twitter (@CHET529).