Nationwide and NACo College Scholarship Opportunity

Your high school graduate could win $2,500 for college.

You've remained steadfast in your commitment to saving for retirement. Participating in your employer's retirement program helps you plan for a successful future. Now, you can help your high school senior jump-start theirs.

Nationwide and the National Association of Counties want high school seniors to understand the importance of saving early for retirement.

To get them started, Nationwide will award four college scholarships - each worth $2,500 - to four high school seniors whose parents or grandparents participate in a NACo Deferred Compensation 457 plan.

Throughout their decades of partnership, Nationwide and NACo have remained committed to helping you plan for retirement and your family's future.

How to apply

Complete an online application. As part of the application, your high school senior will be asked to write a short essay. Please keep the response to 500 words or fewer, and the student should answer in his or her own words.

Essay Question:

Preparing for retirement early in your professional career provides for financial freedom/flexibility and an opportunity to participate in opportunities that you may not have been able to do at the beginning of your career. During the past year, we have seen Inflation Rates as high as 9%, the Federal Reserve significantly increase interest rates and in the news recently, we had the largest bank failure in the United States since 2008. What do you think these events signal about your ability to build financial wealth and independence?

As you enter college, retirement seems so far off that it hardly feels real and certainly is not a priority. In fact, it’s one of the most common excuses young people make to justify not saving for retirement. As people currently nearing retirement age will tell you, time slips by before you know it, and building a sizable savings becomes more difficult if you don’t start early. You will undoubtably face new financial challenges, such as student debt, mortgage/rent expenses and car payments to name a few. There is one thing you have in your favor and that is TIME. Even a small amount saved per pay period for retirement over time can make a huge difference in your future. With time on your side, saving for retirement becomes a much more pleasant—and exciting—prospect. Please also share, how TIME can assist you to overcome the future financial challenges you will be sure to face?

As you consider your response, think of retirement as an opportunity for wealth accumulation. Describe retirement planning tools and strategies that can help you determine the actions and decisions necessary to achieve your financial independence. Consider using the following key strategies in your response: Employer Savings Programs, Compound Interest, Advantage of Pre-Tax Dollars, Portability, Advantage of Post-Tax Dollars, Determining Income Goals, Risk Tolerance, and the idea that you may have more time and fewer financial responsibilities at a younger age.

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Terms and Conditions

Eligibility requirements:

Graduating high school seniors who are legal U.S. residents are eligible to apply. Please keep the following criteria in mind:
  • The applicant’s parent, grandparent or legal guardian must be enrolled in and have a current employee funded 457(b) Plan offered through the NACo Deferred Compensation Program.
  • Applicants must enroll in a full-time undergraduate course of study no later than the autumn term of the 2023-2024 school year or at an accredited Trade School or two or four-year college.
  • Immediate family members of NACo employees, members of the NACo Defined Contribution and Retirement Advisory Committee or its governing board of directors, staff of individual state Association of Counties that are members of the LLC and Nationwide employees are not eligible to apply; this program is not offered outside the United States.
  • The application and entry must be submitted online between April 1 and May 31, 2023.

Judging criteria:

  • Scholarship entries will be reviewed by a committee of associates from both Nationwide and NACo; scholarship recipients will be chosen based on the content of their entry
  • All entries submitted will become property of Nationwide and may be used for educational and/or marketing purposes; the original author will be credited

How scholarship recipients will be notified:

  • Scholarship recipients will be notified in July 2023
  • The winner must enroll in an accredited institution by the autumn term of the 2023-2024 school year
  • A check payable to the institution will be mailed directly to the institution of each scholarship recipient during the fall of 2023

Nationwide Retirement Solutions (Nationwide) partners with the National Association of Counties (NACo) to provide counties and their employees with a competitive deferred compensation program. As part of this partnership, Nationwide pays a fee to NACo in exchange for NACo’s exclusive endorsement, marketing support, and program oversight of Nationwide products made available under the program. For more information, including fees paid, Nationwide encourages you to visit Nationwide, the Nationwide N and Eagle, Nationwide is on your side, and other marks displayed in this message are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and/or its affiliates, unless otherwise disclosed. Third-party marks that appear in this message are the property of their respective owners. © 2023 Nationwide.