Thirty Students Receive $2,000 College Scholarship

High school seniors earned the scholarship after demonstrating financial know-how.

High school seniors from across the state of Iowa earned $2,000 for college while learning important financial literacy skills through the 2017–2018 Iowa Financial Know-How Challenge: Senior Scholarship sponsored by Iowa Student Loan.

“The financial tips I learned through this process will help me throughout my college years and into my future career.” ―Sadie Brockett, a senior at Gladbrook-Reinbeck.

More than 4,000 Iowa high school seniors registered for the scholarship between October 2017 and February 2018. Of those, nearly 2,000 completed two online financial literacy tools and a related assessment to qualify for one of 30 college scholarships. More than 70 students tied for a top score on the assessment. The 30 recipients were those who received the highest scores on an independently judged essay on what “responsible borrowing” meant to them.

Christine Hensley, Iowa Student Loan board chair, said that the Student Loan Game Plansm and ROCI Reality Check tools, which participants are required to experience to qualify for the scholarship are designed to help students and families avoid the pitfalls of heavy student loan debt.

“Student loan debt must be carefully considered to be manageable later in life,” said Hensley. “The components to qualify for this scholarship help our state’s students understand the impact that student loan debt can have, and we’re pleased that so many high school seniors are exposed to these important lessons through the scholarship process.”

“The Iowa Financial Know-How Challenge allowed me to expand upon what my high school has already taught me about college spending. I now understand specifically my college expenses and career outlook.” ―Regan Sylvester, a senior at Sioux Central High School.

Each recipient’s high school will also receive a $500 award to improve or implement financial literacy and scholarship programs.

Details are not yet finalized for the 2018–2019 Iowa Financial Know-How Challenge: Senior Scholarship. Interested families should watch for information about the program at www.IowaStudentLoan.org/SeniorScholarship.

Scholarship Recipients
The following students each earned a $2,000 scholarship. Iowa Student Loan will send scholarship funds directly to recipients’ colleges.

Student Name Student High School Student Name Student High School
Ote Albrecht Le Mars Timber Kent Clarke
Sydney Alt Lone Tree Ashley Koos Marquette Catholic
Heather Baier Southeast Polk Carrington Kuehl Indianola
Ryan Bonthius Regina Grant Meiners Carroll
Sadie Brockett Gladbrook-Reinbeck Jeffrey Morische Osage
Zachary Calvert Dowling Catholic Josh Pulse Pleasantville
Emma Carlson Des Moines Christian Megan Rex Oelwein
Matthew Current Clinton Elly Schuemann Linn-Mar
Jacee De Vries West Lyon Rebecca Sharpe Norwalk
Katelyn Finnegan St. Edmond Robyn Stillmunkes Bellevue
Morgan Fritz Lake Mills Regan Sylvester Sioux Central
Maci Gambell Pekin Shawn Thacker West (Iowa City)
Megan Grimm Prairie Luke Thompson Okoboji
Kayla Hospodarsky Alburnett Ethan Trepka West (Iowa City)
Alyssa Jaeger Springville Allison Zelle Linn-Mar

By: Iowa Student Loan

Winners Announced for 2017 Save Now, Save Later Program

Parents across the state of Iowa are getting a $1,000 boost to their student’s College Savings Iowa® account this winter, thanks to Iowa Student Loan’s Save Now, Save Later: College Savings Plan Parent Giveaway.

Fifty parents have been chosen as winners in the program’s fourth year. Each parent will receive the $1,000 deposited directly to the College Savings Iowa account of their registered child. The registration period ran during September and October and was open to Iowa residents who have a student in grades six through 12 at an Iowa school.

“This program really helps highlight the importance of saving for college and being proactive with planning for your child’s future,” said Shari Higgins, a 2017 winner from Nevada. “The information presented was useful and something I can come back to later as I have questions.”

Parents who registered had a chance to experience the Parent Handbook, a new online educational module from Iowa Student Loan. The handbook provides financial literacy tips for parents with students in middle school or high school.

After the registration period, entries were chosen at random from nearly 4,000 qualified participants. Iowa Student Loan works directly with College Savings Iowa on the giveaway. College Savings Iowa is the state’s direct-sold 529 program, administered by State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald.

Winners of the Save Now, Save Later program:

Name City Name City
Kelsey Lorenzen Davenport Kristin Johnson Urbandale
Erika White Vinton Shari Higgins Nevada
Dawn Atwood Colfax Heather Kingsbury Vinton
Shanan Redinger Hanlontown Jennifer Sassman Waverly
Rhonda Sirfus Johnston Jennifer Tischer Mount Vernon
Michele Foreman Cedar Rapids Mary Hauptmann Algona
Kelly Willis Waverly John Flint Cedar Falls
Melissa Korell New Sharon David Finley Estherville
Rhea Wright Perry Karen Hamilton Council Bluffs
Rosely Imler Knoxville Susan Swartzendruber Knoxville
Amanda Lawless Saint Lucas Jason Carlson North Liberty
Jamie Carlson Guthrie Center Mary Dietrich Pleasant Hill
Sara Laures Cedar Falls Amy Carlisle Griswold
Amy Wilson Coralville Tami Wise Urbandale
Andrea Juergens Adel Lee Brungardt Council Bluffs
Dawn Gunderson Muscatine Nicole Metcalf Climbing Hill
Jody Fairbanks Anamosa Mundi McCarty Solon
Stephanie Gengler Merrill Julie Borelli Carroll
Andrea Masteller Clive Angela Beer Cedar Rapids
Amanda Salyars Muscatine Christina Hlas Adel
Eric Kovaleski Bouton Gayle Shatek Mason City
Kathy Oulman Forest City Regina Critchlow Carlisle
Tim Bloom Newton Tracie Rogiers Buffalo
Thomas Evans Dubuque Jody Sturmer Blue Grass
Amy Hammer Cedar Falls Scott McCarty Ottumwa

By: Iowa Student Loan 

 

Giveaway for Educational Costs Approaches End

Iowa Student Loan’s most recent award program is coming to a close soon. The College Funding Forecaster Giveaway allowed Iowa high school students and their parents or guardians to enter drawings for awards after completing the online tool College Funding Forecaster.

Nearly 500 eligible registrants were entered into weekly drawings for two $250 awards for educational expenses. Over the course of the giveaway, $5,000 in weekly prizes were distributed to the drawing winners who completed the required steps to claim the prize.

High school 2017 graduates and their parents or guardians were also eligible to be entered into the grand prize drawing for two $1,500 scholarships to be paid directly to the winning student’s college in fall 2017. More than 400 registrants were eligible for that drawing, which will be conducted by an independent third party at the end of June. Winners will be notified in July, and the results will be published on the Iowa Student Loan website.

This was the first year for this giveaway, which encouraged Iowa families with college-bound students to use the free College Funding Forecaster tool to estimate total out-of-pocket expenses for a four-year undergraduate degree.

All Iowa Student Loan’s scholarships and programs play an important role in educating Iowa students and families about college planning and financing and in providing financial resources to help offset college costs. So far, nearly 17,000 students, parents and guardians from across the state have registered to receive valuable information, and more than 200 recipients have received more than $300,000 in awards.

Mark your calendar for the upcoming Save Now, Save Later: College Savings Plan Parent Giveaway, which opens near the beginning of the 2017–2018 school year.

By: Iowa Student Loan

13 Reasons to Apply for the Senior Scholarship on Friday the 13th

seniorscholarship

Friday the 13th is often considered unlucky, but you can make it a good day by applying for the Iowa Financial Know-How Challenge: Senior Scholarship. Here are 13 reasons to apply:

  1. It’s simple, requiring only about an hour to register and complete all three required steps.
  2. You don’t need certain grades, extracurriculars or financial need to qualify.
  3. It’s free. All you need is a valid email address and internet access.
  4. Thirty scholarships will be awarded across Iowa, increasing your chances of receiving an award.
  5. You could earn $2,000 for next fall’s college expenses.
  6. If you receive a scholarship, your high school will also receive $500 to increase financial literacy and scholarship programs.
  7. You will discover how your decisions affect your total college cost and your need to borrow student loans.
  8. You will connect your anticipated first-year salary to the maximum recommended student loan debt for your major.
  9. You’ll make a plan to reduce your college debt.
  10. You’ll see how to improve your chances of landing your desired job after college.
  11. You’ll learn what graduates with your chosen college major really earn after college.
  12. Iowa Student Loan will send you emails with more information about planning for and paying for college.
  13. You can impress your family and friends by sharing what you learned.

Apply Online Today!

5 Reasons to Start a 529 Plan

5-Reasons-to-Start-529

Saving for your child’s college education can be stressful, but it can also be one the best things you can do to help ensure he or she has a solid financial start in life. If you’re considering different savings options, check out these benefits of a 529 plan.

1. Plans are good nationwide.

Most states, including Iowa, and a number of institutions offer 529 plans, and the plans are not restrictive to the state you live in or where the student attends college. That means parents can take out a College Savings Iowa 529 Plan and the student can use the funds at any eligible school in the country and even some colleges or universities outside the United States.

2. Anyone can open a 529 plan account.

Parents, grandparents and even friends can open a 529 plan for a potential college student. You can even start a 529 plan for your own education.

Parents: Enter to win a $1,500 contribution to a 529 plan.

3. There are tax benefits.

While contributions are not deductible at the federal level, Iowa taxpayers may deduct some contributions from their adjusted gross income. When the plan owners deduct funds to pay eligible college costs, that money is not taxed. For the beneficiary, all earnings on the 529 plan grow tax free.

4. Plans are flexible.

You can choose to change the investment options up to twice per calendar year. Plan owners can make regular contributions, open an account with an initial deposit and never make another contribution, or make deposits whenever it’s convenient. You can even change the beneficiary if the person the account was opened for decides not to attend college.

5. You stay in control of the account.

When you open a 529 account for your child, or anyone else, you maintain control of the account and how the funds are spent. The money is not automatically transferred to the student to spend.

By: Iowa Student Loan

Parents: Register to Win a $1,500 College Savings Plan Deposit

save-now-save-later-2016

A college savings account is a great way to set your future college student up for success by helping them to possibly reduce debt later in life.

Iowa Student Loan’s Save Now, Save Later: College Savings Plan Parent Giveaway is a great way to give that savings account a boost.

Now through Oct. 30, you can register to win one of 30 deposits of $1,500 to a College Savings Iowa® account. All you need to do is complete the one-time registration process, including completion of the cosigner version of Student Loan Game Plan, an online educational tool.

Enter now to win a $1,500 deposit

“(The program) is a good way to show the impact of borrowing,” said Greg F., of Pocahontas, a 2015 award recipient. “Too many people don’t think about all of the interest that they have to pay. And saving is easy, even if you can only start small.”

Eligible registrants are:

  • an Iowa resident;
  • and a parent or legal guardian of a high school student in Iowa (grades 9, 10, 11 or 12).

Full details and the Official Rules for the 2016 program can be found at www.iowastudentloan.org/savenow.

Winners will be selected in November and notified soon after.snsl-fact-sheet

By: Iowa Student Loan

30 Iowa Seniors Receive College Scholarship

SrScholarship-Winners-BlogImage

Iowa High School Seniors Each Earn $2,000
for Demonstrating Financial Know-How

High school seniors from across the state earned $2,000 for college while learning important financial literacy skills through the 2015–2016 Iowa Financial Know-How Challenge: Senior Scholarship sponsored by Iowa Student Loan.

More than 4,300 Iowa high school seniors registered for the scholarship between November 2015 and March 2016. Of those, more than 2,200 completed two online financial literacy tutorials and a related assessment to qualify for one of 30 scholarships. The 30 winners were those who scored highest on the assessment and, because of a tie for top scores, received the highest scores on an independently judged essay.

“High student loan debt levels are a legitimate concern,” said Christine Hensley, chair of the Iowa Student Loan board of directors. “The scholarship is a great way to expose high school students to the concepts of minimizing debt and making responsible borrowing decisions right at the time they are making college decisions. We hear from parents every year that the process of experiencing our online tools as part of the scholarship qualification opens up enlightening conversations with their students.”

The tools, along with tips that registered students received by email through the scholarship period, are designed to help students avoid the pitfalls of heavy student loan debt, a continuing concern for college graduates in Iowa and nationwide, Hensley said. Student Loan Game Plansm and the ROCI Reality Check were developed by Iowa Student Loan to help students understand the consequences of college borrowing and discover how to maximize their return on college investment, or ROCI.

“The [scholarship] was extremely insightful to just how many expenses there really are in college,” said Ian Kubbe, an Ottumwa High School senior and one of the 2015-2016 recipients of the scholarship. “I strongly recommend this scholarship opportunity to any high school senior, not only for the financial benefit it provides, but also the helpful information about loans, college expenses and how to budget your money correctly.”

“This year we expanded the scholarship program to award more students with more college funds and to recognize the role high schools play in educating their students about important college financing concepts,” said Steve McCullough, president and CEO of Iowa Student Loan. “This initiative is a tangible aspect of our mission to help Iowa students and families successfully pay for postsecondary education.”

Each recipient’s high school also received a $500 award to improve or implement financial literacy and scholarship programs.

Program Future

Although details are not yet finalized, Iowa Student Loan anticipates offering the scholarship next academic year. More about the Iowa Financial Know-How Challenge: Senior Scholarship is available at www.IowaStudentLoan.org.

Scholarship Recipients

The following students each earned a $2,000 scholarship. Iowa Student Loan will send scholarship funds directly to recipients’ colleges.

Student Name Student School Student Name Student School
Veronica Augustine West High School (Davenport) Brandi Miller Waverly-Shell Rock High School
Aaron Bertini Glenwood High School Kaylee Puttmann MOC-Floyd Valley High School
Jared Davis Hempstead High School Lindsey Reicks Solon High School
Crystal Eppling Le Mars High School Alexandra Reifert Wilton High School
Jason Fisher Nashua-Plainfield High School Bradley Ritter Baxter High School
Rebecca Fuhrmeister Pleasant Valley High School Rebecca Roberson Akron Westfield High School
Leah Gibbs Easton Valley High School Lauren Ronnfeldt Regina High School
Nicole Giesemann Bellevue High School Amber Snyder Wilton High School
Hailey Gross West Central Valley High School Alexandria Sturtz North Polk High School
Jenny Ha Linn-Mar High School Jordan Thomas Southeast Polk High School
Alexander Hall East Mills High School Sarah Todd Columbus Community High School
Ian Kubbe Ottumwa High School Jack Turner Dowling Catholic High School
McKenna Lloyd Xavier High School Cierstynn Welcher Van Buren High School
Lindsay Mahaney Bishop Heelan Catholic High School Carter Wolf Southeast Polk High School
Nathan Maughan Albia High School Sarah Zelle Linn-Mar High School

By: Iowa Student Loan

Winners Announced for 2015 Save Now, Save Later Program

SNSL-Blog-Winners

Parents across the state of Iowa are getting a $1,500 boost to their student’s College Savings Iowa® account this spring, thanks to Iowa Student Loan’s Save Now, Save Later: College Savings Plan Parent Giveaway.

In this second year of the program the number of awards was increased from 20 to 30 to benefit even more Iowa families. Registration opened Aug. 13, 2015, and ran through Nov. 30, 2015. The program was open to Iowa residents who have a student in grade nine, 10, 11 or 12 at an Iowa high school.

“Additional funds for a child’s (College Savings Iowa) account will encourage parents to continue funding their accounts,” said Jeff McGuire, a winner from Hiawatha. “Every bit helps defray the rising costs of college.”

Parents who registered were required to complete the co-signer version of Student Loan Game PlanSM, a free online, financial education tool offered by Iowa Student Loan, with versions for students and for parents. After the registration period, entries were chosen at random from about 1,000 qualified participants.

“I think (the program) is a good way to show the impact of borrowing,” said Greg Fritz, a winner from Pocahontas. “Too many people don’t think about all of the interest that they have to pay. And saving is easy, even if you can only start small.”

All 30 winners will have a $1,500 deposit made into a new or existing College Savings Iowa account for their eligible child. Iowa Student Loan works directly with College Savings Iowa on the giveaway. College Savings Iowa is the state’s direct-sold 529 program, administered by State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald.

Iowa Student Loan plans to launch the Save Now, Save Later: College Savings Plan Parent Giveaway again in the fall.

View the full news release.

Winners of the Save Now, Save Later program are:Blog-WinnerTable


By: Iowa Student Loan

5 Reasons to Start a 529 Plan

5-Reasons-to-Start-529

Saving for your child’s college education can be stressful, but it can also be one the best things you can do to help ensure he or she has a solid financial start in life. If you’re considering different savings options, check out these benefits of a 529 plan.

1. Plans are good nationwide.

Most states, including Iowa, and a number of institutions offer 529 plans, and the plans are not restrictive to the state you live in or where the student attends college. That means parents can take out a College Savings Iowa 529 Plan and the student can use the funds at any eligible school in the country and even some colleges or universities outside the United States.

2. Anyone can open a 529 plan account.

Parents, grandparents and even friends can open a 529 plan for a potential college student. You can even start a 529 plan for your own education.

Parents: Enter to win a $1,500 contribution to a 529 plan.

3. There are tax benefits.

While contributions are not deductible at the federal level, Iowa taxpayers may deduct some contributions from their adjusted gross income. When the plan owners deduct funds to pay eligible college costs, that money is not taxed. For the beneficiary, all earnings on the 529 plan grow tax free.

4. Plans are flexible.

You can choose to change the investment options up to twice per calendar year. Plan owners can make regular contributions, open an account with an initial deposit and never make another contribution, or make deposits whenever it’s convenient. You can even change the beneficiary if the person the account was opened for decides not to attend college.

5. You stay in control of the account.

When you open a 529 account for your child, or anyone else, you maintain control of the account and how the funds are spent. The money is not automatically transferred to the student to spend.

By: Iowa Student Loan

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