News & Press Releases
Treasurer Nappier announces 2017 CHET Advance Scholarship winners
HARTFORD, CT — More than 200 people joined State Treasurer Denise L. Nappier recently at an inspirational ceremony at the Legislative Office Building to celebrate 100 ninth-grade students and 100 high school seniors who were selected as recipients of a 2017 CHET Advance Scholarship.
“The enthusiasm and promise that these students represent make this one of my favorite nights of the year,” said Treasurer Nappier, Trustee of the Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET). “These are kids with a vision for their future, and it’s especially gratifying to know that this scholarship will help them to further their dreams.”
2017 is the fifth year of the CHET Advance Scholarship program, which awards $2,500 scholarships to high school seniors and an initial $2,000 in scholarships to freshmen. 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.
Among the speakers at the December 1 ceremony was past scholarship recipient Dar’Ron Brown, who told the audience, “On this evening I would like to take the time to encourage the seniors here tonight. I was in your seats a few years back thinking that I had my life all together and figured out. But when you get to college, let me explain that the bills don't stop, the stress doesn’t stop. You have to keep pressing on. You may fall but get back up.”
Brown was one of the first 200 students in Connecticut to receive the CHET Advance Scholarship when the program launched in 2013.
Also speaking at the ceremony were two high school seniors, as recipients of a 2107 scholarship: Jessica Aca-Tecuanhuehue, from Central High School in Bridgeport; and Michael Austin, from Sacred Heart High School in Waterbury. Aca-Tecuanhuehue spoke of being one of seven children and, with her father as sole breadwinner, that the scholarship “has given me the opportunity to cover basic school needs.” Austin noted that he has applied to five schools, at a cost of almost $500, so the scholarship will be “really helpful.” “I assure you it will definitely be put to good use,” he said.
Treasurer Nappier, in her remarks, told the students, “Know this: As long as you believe that ‘the sky is the limit,’ it will be. So, if entering the CHET Advance Scholarship contest and winning has inspired or encouraged you to step up your commitment to your future, then you’re already on the path to success. Now all you have to do is work to stay on that path.”
The winners, who were randomly selected from a pool of more than 3,300 applicants, hail from high schools across the state. All five congressional districts are represented among the winners. Of the winners, 117 are girls and 83 are boys. (See the full list of winners here.)
“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.
CHET Advance Scholarship is administered by 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 are 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, administers the selection process with oversight from TIAA.
The Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET) direct-sold college savings plan was established in 1997 and has enjoyed steady growth, surpassing $2.9 billion in assets under management and more than 116,000 accounts. CHET Advisor, started in 2010, also has seen consistent growth, surpassing $500 million in assets and more than 28,000 accounts.
Since CHET’s inception, more than $1.6 billion in qualified withdrawals have been taken to cover college costs for approximately 47,000 students attending nearly every public and private college in Connecticut and several out-of-state schools.
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 taxpayers are eligible to receive a Connecticut income tax deduction of up to $10,000 per year for married couples filing jointly and $5,000 per year for individuals on contributions made to CHET.
Investment earnings are exempt from state and federal taxes if used for qualified educational expenses.
CHET Advance Scholarship Recipients
The full list of the 2017 CHET Advance Scholarship recipients is as follows:
9th Grade Student Winners:
12th Grade Student Winners: