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Treasurer Wooden launches 2019 CHET Dream Big! college savings competition
HARTFORD, CT – State Treasurer Shawn T. Wooden has launched the 2019 Dream Big! college-savings competition that will award up to $1,000 each to 48 students in grades K-8.
“Encouraging young Connecticut students to start thinking about and planning for college as early as possible is crucial to their future success,” said Wooden, who is Trustee of the Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET) – sponsor of the annual Dream Big! Competition. “And as the owner of CHET accounts for my two sons, I can’t think of a better way to get started than by taking part in this fun and thought-provoking competition.”
Four students will be awarded a grand prize of $1,000, while the others will be awarded $500. A total of $26,000 will be awarded statewide to 48 students in the form of a contribution to a new or existing CHET account.
The competition asks students to use a creative outlet, in the form of a drawing or essay, to answer the question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Kindergarten through third grade students are asked to share artwork depicting what they want to do after they go to college.
Fourth through eighth grade students are asked to answer in a 250-word essay how they will change the world after college.
Schools are also eligible for a prize. Eight schools – one per county – will be selected to receive up to $500 in cash for entries submitted on behalf of their students. To be eligible to win, the school must submit a minimum of 50 entries on behalf of entrants and have the highest number of entries in their county. School winners in the past have used the money to purchase library books, classroom materials and other items to enrich their students' academic experience.
Entries are judged based on theme, originality and creativity. Drawings will also be evaluated based on artistic design and attractiveness, while essays are also judged on overall grammar, spelling and punctuation. Printable entry forms, official rules and additional details can be found at www.CHETDreamBig.com. No purchase is necessary to enter or win.
The competition began on Friday, February 1, and the entry deadline is Friday, March 29.
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).