HARTFORD, Conn., Feb. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- State Treasurer Denise L. Nappier announced the launch of the 2016 Dream Big! Competition, a statewide drawing and essay contest aimed at getting Connecticut students in kindergarten through eighth grade to think about their education and careers.
Now in its ninth year, the Dream Big! Competition will award a total of $26,000 in CHET contributions to 48 students who best share their dreams about life after college in an original drawing or essay. Four students will receive a $1,000 grand prize; the others will receive $500. Winners will receive their prize as a contribution to a new or existing CHET account.
In addition, schools that submit Dream Big! entries on behalf of students have a chance to win one of eight $500 cash prizes.
"The Dream Big! entries we receive showcase that even at a young age this generation has a profound desire to help others and make a positive impact on our society," said Treasurer Nappier, Trustee of CHET. "We want to encourage students to envision their future and for their families to begin thinking about how that future can be achieved."
To enter, kindergarten through third graders 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.
The 2015 competition, which ran from January to March, 2015 received over 6,200 entries, the highest number of entries in the competition's nine year history.
"Attending college is one of the most important steps a young person can take on the path toward making their dreams come true and the record breaking number of entries in 2015 underscores the help families need to save for college," added Treasurer Nappier. "Our mission is to educate families about the importance of saving early and to assist them by providing an affordable savings option that will help make college achievable for their children."
Dream Big! entries are judged within four grade groups -- K-1, 2-3, 4-5, and 6-8 -- based on theme, originality and creativity. Drawings will also be evaluated based on artistic design and attractiveness with essays also judged on overall grammar, spelling and punctuation.
The Dream Big! Competition is sponsored by the State Treasurer's Office, TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. and CHET. Entry deadline is March 30, 2016. Printable entry forms, official rules and additional details can be found at www.chetdreambig.com. No purchase is necessary to enter or win.
The State of Connecticut offers CHET to help families save for future college costs. Funds saved in a CHET account can be used at accredited colleges, universities, and vocational trade schools across the country for qualified higher education expenses. Some colleges abroad are also eligible.
Since CHET was established in 1997, more than 35,000 students have used more than $1.2 billion in CHET funds to pay for college costs through the CHET Direct and CHET Advisor programs, as of December 31, 2015. Currently, CHET has more than $2.7 billion in assets and over 120,000 accounts.
The CHET direct-sold plan is administered by the State Treasurer's Office, and managed by TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. For more information about CHET, visit www.aboutchet.com or call the customer service center at (866) 314-3939.
For more information about CHET, visit www.aboutchet.com or call the customer service center at (866) 314-3939. Find CHET on Facebook (facebook.com/CHETcollegesavings) or follow it on Twitter (@CHET529).
SOURCE Office of Connecticut State Treasurer Denise L. Nappier