12th Annual Essay Contest

learningLearning Quest® 12th Annual Essay Contest to Award $10,000 in Prizes

TOPEKA, Kan. — Seventh and eighth grade students across Kansas can showcase their writing skills and win an education savings account in the 12th annual Learning Quest Essay Contest. The Learning Quest 529 Education Savings Program is Kansas’ state-sponsored 529 plan, designed to help families invest for their child’s continued education after high school.

 Last year, more than 1,600 essays written by Kansas seventh and eighth graders were received from 113 schools across the state. This year’s theme is “There’s no better investment than higher education.”

“We’re asking 7th and 8th grade students to respond to the question, ‘If you had $2,000 to invest in your interests, how you would spend the money to better prepare yourself for the future?’ said Kansas State Treasurer Ron Estes who administers the Learning Quest Program. “This fits perfectly with Learning Quest’s goal to help families plan today for the higher education expenses in their student’s future.”

The contest, open to all seventh and eighth grade students in Kansas, began mid-August, and all entries must be postmarked or submitted electronically at http://essay.learningquest.com by Oct. 11, 2013.

Prizes include $2,000 Learning Quest accounts for the first-place winner in each of the two grade levels. New this year, Learning Quest judges will select up to five essays per grade to be posted to Learning Quest’s Facebook page for public voting to win the People’s Choice prize of $1,000 per grade. Also, each of the schools attended by the four winners (the two winners selected by the judges and the two winners by public voting) will receive a $1,000 prize from Learning Quest. Prizes are provided by American Century Investments. No purchase necessary. See official rules for details at http://essay.learningquest.com

“We’re excited that the $10,000 in prizes will not only help kick start these students’ college savings, but also will help some of our Kansas schools,” said Estes. “Providing prizes for the schools is a way we’d like to thank teachers, principals and administrators for their help in encouraging students to plan for their future.”

To learn more and download participation materials, visit the contest website at http://essay.learningquest.com. Also, students can get updates on the Learning Quest’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/KSLearningQuest529.

The Learning Quest 529 Education Savings Program was created to help families invest for their child’s continued education after high school, whether at a traditional four-year college, community college, or technical/vocational school. Learning Quest investors benefit from tax-deferred growth and tax-free withdrawals when used for qualified education expenses (tax benefits may be conditioned on meeting certain requirements). Kansas taxpayers can receive a Kansas tax deduction up to $3,000 per child ($6,000 if married, filing jointly) on contributions to Learning Quest or any other state-sponsored 529 plan.

Ron Estes was sworn in on January 10, 2011 as the 39th State Treasurer for the state of Kansas and is the first state wide elected official from the City of Wichita in 20 years. He was originally elected Sedgwick County Treasurer in 2004 and was re-elected to that position in 2008. Ron has also served as the Treasurer for the Kansas County Treasurers’ Association. Ron was born in Topeka and is a fifth generation Kansan. His family continues to run a farm in Osage County. Ron and his wife, Susan, have three children.