News & Press Releases
Treasurer Nappier announces 2015 CHET Advance Scholarship winners
HARTFORD, CT — At an uplifting ceremony at the Legislative Office Building last night, State Treasurer Denise L. Nappier recognized 100 high school freshmen and 100 high school seniors as recipients of a CHET 2015 Advance Scholarship of up to $2,500.
The Legislative Office Building was abuzz with the excited chatter of families and students, who spoke of their appreciation of receiving the scholarships — an initial $2,000 to the high school freshmen and $2,500 to the seniors. The freshmen have the opportunity to receive an additional $500 if the student’s family saves $500 in a CHET account by the time the student goes to college.
Family after family came up to Treasurer Nappier or other members of the State Treasurer’s Office to express how much the scholarships will help with college expenses. “Having some of the financial weight of tuition lifted is extremely helpful in the college selection process. This scholarship will help me find a college that suits my needs, instead of worrying as much about finding an affordable college,” Catherine Massa, a freshman at The Academy of Information Technology and Engineering in Stamford, told the audience.
A second winner, Aneesh Venuturumilli, a senior at Farmington High School, said, “This scholarship is not just about the money, as it tells me that I am seen as having potential for the future of our society. I will use this money to further my interests in computer science in college...This award will give me the motivation to push myself to the highest point and achieve my highest potential."
“You know, as State Treasurer, I never lose sight of the fact that an educated workforce is key to the economic growth and vitality of our State. That’s why the CHET Advance Scholarship Program is a smart investment in the next generation of Connecticut leaders – economists, teachers, lawyers, doctors and many other professionals, all of whom will be drivers of economic growth,” Treasurer Nappier, Trustee of the Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET), said.
Since 2013, the State Treasurer’s Office has awarded $1.5 million in scholarships to 600 Connecticut students through the CHET Advance Scholarship program.
Winners were randomly selected from a pool of 3,263 applicants who hail from 158 public schools, 19 parochial schools, and 23 independent schools in Connecticut. All five congressional districts are represented among the winners. This brings the total number of applicants since the program’s inception in 2013 to 10,682. The 2015 winners come from 76 towns in all eight counties. Of the winners, 126 are young women; 74 are young men.
For both the freshman and senior winners, the 2015 CHET Advance Scholarship provided 50 awards in each of two categories of schools:
Category 1: All students who attend a public, private, or parochial Connecticut school other than a school identified by the Connecticut Department of Education as a Review or Turnaround school as of December 2014; or attend a public, private or parochial school outside of Connecticut and either the student or one of the student–s parents resides in Connecticut; or are home-schooled in Connecticut.
Category 2: All students who attend a Review or Turnaround school. By state law, Review and Turnaround schools are schools subject to intensified supervision and direction by the state Department of Education. These schools receive focused resources to improve the performance of students.
Winning recipients in each category were selected by a random drawing. Also, to ensure there are winners from across the state, no more than 20 winners from each of Connecticut’s five Congressional Districts were selected (10 from each category).
CHET Advance Scholarship is administered under the banner of the Connecticut Higher Education Trust, Connecticut’s 529 college savings plan. As Trustee of CHET, Treasurer Nappier negotiated for the establishment of the scholarship program. TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. and The Hartford, plan managers for CHET Direct-Sold and CHET Advisor-Sold, respectively, contribute annually into a Scholarship account to finance the Scholarship program, under their contracts with the Treasurer’s Office to manage CHET 529. No state funds will be used for awards issued under CHET Advance Scholarship.
To ensure the impartiality of the random drawings, International Scholarship and Tuition Services, which has more than 25 years of scholarship administration experience, set up and ran the selection process with oversight from TIAA-CREF.
“The process of researching, applying for and deciding what college to go to is incredibly stressful for students and families. If we are able to help reduce that stress level by a small amount or help fill the cost gap with CHET Advance Scholarship, then that’s a win in my book,” Treasurer Nappier said.
The Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET) was established in 1997. Today the number of CHET 529 college savings accounts stands at more than 100,000 and total assets are more than $2.6 billion. More than $1.2 billion in qualified withdrawals have been taken to cover college costs for 35,000 students. For more information about CHET, visit www.aboutchet.com or call the customer service center at (866) 314-3939. Find CHET on Facebook or Twitter.