CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Elementary school students throughout the state have the chance to win up to $5,000 in higher education expenses.
West Virginia State Treasurer John Perdue and representatives of The Hartford this week announced the seventh annual SMART529 When I Grow Up student and teacher essay contest.
Last year, more than 4,500 students participated in the contest.
Students in kindergarten through fifth grade have the chance to share in nearly $20,000 in SMART529 savings for higher education. Three age groups will be judged in five regions for a total of 15 winners. Age groups are kindergarten through first grade, second through third grade, and fourth through fifth grade.
The 15 winners will be awarded a $500 college savings account and will be invited in the fall to an event where the grand prize will be $5,000 in scholarship money.
Each winner's school receives a $500 award.
The contest allows students, with the help of parents or guardians, to submit in 100 words or less an essay that tells what they want to do when they grow up. Entries are judged on originality, creativity, and the importance of post-secondary education.
A teacher portion of the contest will permit teachers to compete for a $2,500 cash prize.
Entry forms are available on the site www.SMART529.com and at elementary schools throughout the state. Deadline for essay submissions is Feb. 21.
SMART529 is a qualified tuition program issued by the West Virginia Prepaid College Tuition and Savings Program Board of Trustees and administered by Harford Life.For more information call Gina Joynes at 304-341-0758 or George Manahan at 304-546-6174.