Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET) Connecticut State Treasurer
Dream Big Logo
Share Your Dream and You Could Win Big.

New 6/1: Congratulations to our 2018 winners. Check out all winning entries here.

What do you want to be when you grow up? Let us know in a drawing or essay, and you could win a $1,000 Grand Prize CHET direct-sold 529 account.


The CHET Dream Big! Competition is a drawing and essay contest. It encourages Connecticut students in grades K-8 to share their dreams of what they want to do after college for a chance to win big prizes. Now in its 11th year, The CHET Dream Big! Competition has helped hundreds of students and parents start thinking about saving for college early.

NOTE: The 2018 entry period is now closed.


  • 4 $1,000 GRAND PRIZES: A maximum of four winners statewide will receive a $1,000 contribution to a CHET account. One winner will be selected from each of the following grade categories: K‑1, 2‑3, 4‑5 and 6‑8.
  • 44 $500 PRIZES: Winners will be selected as follows:
    • 8 winners from Connecticut's Turnaround schools. One boy and one girl from each grade category: K‑1, 2‑3, 4‑5 and 6‑8.
    • 32 winners from all other schools across the state. One child from each county, in each grade category: K‑1, 2‑3, 4‑5 and 6‑8.
    • 4 judges/sponsors picks, one child in each grade category: K‑1, 2‑3, 4‑5 and 6‑8.

We couldn't forget to award all the hard work and effort put forth by all the educators. The school in each county that submits the greatest percentage of completed student entries will be awarded $500.

Questions? Email us here.

No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Sponsored by the Office of Connecticut State Treasurer Denise L. Nappier, TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. and CHET.




Connecticut students in grades K – 8 (or equivalent if homeschooled) wishing to participate in the 2018 CHET Dream Big! Competition must submit a completed official entry form along with an original work (art or essay) by March 30, 2018. Entries will not be returned.

Entry requirements as follows:

Grades K-3:
Show Us what you want to do after you go to college in an original drawing on an 8.5”x11” piece of paper.

Grades 4-8:
Tell Us how you will change the world after you go to college in 250 words or less (typed or hand written).

Submitting your entry:
You can enter online or by mail.


Enter online in two simple steps:


1) Complete this form:

an original drawing illustrating, "What do I want to do after I go to college?" - open to grades K‑3
an original essay responding to the question "How will I change the world after I go to college?" - open to grades 4‑8

2) Upload your entry:

Upload your entry file here, we accept .pdf, .jpg, .gif, .png, .doc or .docx files; maximum file size is 30MB.

Select "Choose File" to locate your file. When the file name appears, your file is ready for uploading and will be submitted when you complete this form.

For best results, please do not exceed file size restrictions. Do not close your screen until you receive confirmation of receipt. This could take several minutes depending on your file and your connection.


As parent/guardian of the Entrant I represent and warrant that I am over 18 and give permission on behalf of the student to submit the original drawing or essay uploaded here as an entry in the 2018 CHET Dream Big! Competition. I acknowledge that the student’s entry is his/her original work and that drawings, essays and registration forms will not be returned.*
I have read and agree to the Official Rules of the CHET Dream Big! Competition.*
Please send information about saving for college with CHET.
I have a CHET account.


Enter by mail in three simple steps:

1) Download, complete and print the entry form. Be sure to include a signature of a parent or guardian and ensure all sections are completed.

2) Attach the entry form to the completed, original, 8.5"x11" work (drawing or essay). For grades K-3, include an original drawing illustrating, "What do I want to do after I go to college?" For grades 4-8, include an original essay responding to the question, "How will I change the world after I go to college?"

3) Mail your completed entry form and the original work to:

CHET Dream Big! Competition
P.O. Box 849
Groton, CT 06340

"Dream Big!, along with other CHET programs, inspires families to start talking about the importance of saving for college early and reminds them to get started now."

– State Treasurer Denise L. Nappier