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Entries for NACo-Nationwide scholarship now being accepted

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The NACo-Nationwide scholarship program will award four $2,500 grants to students whose parents, grandparents or guardians contribute to NACo Deferred Comp programs 

High-school seniors whose parents, grandparents or legal guardians actively contribute to a 457(b) plan offered through the NACo Deferred Compensation Program are eligible to apply for a $2,500 college scholarship. Four $2,500 scholarships will be awarded in spring 2018 in honor of the scholarship program’s 13th year in existence.

Learn More

Tips from last year's winners

Apply here

The NACo-Nationwide scholarship essay contest is an educational opportunity for high-school students about to transition into a new stage of their lives. “Young adults should understand the importance of preparing for a comfortable financial future as well as be aware of potential obstacles,” NACo President Roy Brooks said. “The NACo-Nationwide essay contest allows the next generation of retirees to give insight into what retirement services look like to them, a group of consumers whose purchase decision is years away.

“By the same token, educating our next generation on the importance of retirement savings will not only benefit the individual but their entire microsystems. The continued NACo-Nationwide partnership not only raises awareness in this vital area, it also continues the discussion and works to take the current retirement system to a whole new level. I expect great things from our 2018 winners. May their contributions be a ripple effect towards new and improved lifestyles,” Brooks said.


How eligible students can apply

Parents, grandparents or legal guardians should talk to their eligible high school seniors about applying right away. Starting Jan. 3, the application can be completed online at


Eligibility requirements

Graduating high school seniors who are legal U.S. residents are eligible to apply.

Applicant’s parent, grandparent or legal guardian must be enrolled in and actively contribute to a 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 2018–2019 school year at an accredited 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.

Application and entry must be submitted online at between Jan. 3 and March 5.


Scholarship honors 39 years of partnership

The NACo-Nationwide Scholarship is just one of many benefits of nearly four decades of partnership between Nationwide and the National Association of Counties and its member counties. For additional information about the NACo Deferred Compensation Program, please contact David Belnick at or 410.790.5440; or contact your Nationwide representative at 877.677.3678.

Tips from last year's winners

To help students consider why saving early and consistently may be important, Brooks shared key points from last year’s scholarship winners who answered the following questions:

“Most high school students dream of the day when they will be on their own and no longer depend on their parents, but that kind of freedom requires financial independence. What does financial freedom mean to you? What is your plan to achieve financial freedom for yourself and how are you going to ensure that your financial freedom will continue through your retirement years?”

Hailee Sparks from Hudson, Wis. Senior High School in Hudson says she learned how to save for her future from her first employer. “They offered a direct-deposit option. So, I signed up to have 25 percent of my paycheck placed into a savings account for college. It’s a great way to save money because I don’t need to take additional steps to move my money into savings every pay day.” Hailee also credited her mother for teaching her the importance of savings accounts and retirement accounts.

Anfernee Alsta already has his financial future mapped out. The graduate of Robinson High School in Tampa, Fla., says his first step to achieving financial freedom is to attend college and eventually grad school. As a civil engineer, he plans “living comfortably while still being able to save.” Anfernee also expects to fully utilize his future employer’s 401(k) plan, as well as save at least six months’ worth of income for any unplanned expenses.

Morgan Webb from Cardinal Newman High School in Sebastopol, Calif., admitted that she initially had trouble understanding what financial freedom meant. Fortunately, she wrote, her high-school economics teacher assigned a project for which she had to develop an eight-year budget, starting with college and ending four years after. “I love math and science — so I really geeked out.” The assignment taught her a lot about the importance of saving. “I now understand about financial freedom.”




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
NRM-9556AO-NX.4 (12/17)

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