Nationwide and NACo College Scholarship

The application period for the Nationwide and NACo College Scholarship is open through May 31.

Are you the parent, grandparent or legal guardian of a high school senior? If you actively contribute to a 457(b) plan offered through the NACo Deferred Compensation Program, your student is eligible to apply for one of four $2,500 college scholarships. Scholarships will be awarded in the fall of 2020. 

In its 16th year of existence, the NACo/Nationwide scholarship essay contest is an educational opportunity for high school students transitioning into a new stage of their lives. Engaging young people in civic life and responsibilities is a great way to show high school students the valuable roles that counties play in the lives of their residents. The 2020 scholarship program's goal is to help ensure that young people get involved and stay involved in local government -- and understand the importance of being good stewards of their future finances.

To help students consider the importance of saving early and consistently, students are asked to write an essay that answers 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?

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 actively contributing 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 2020-2021 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. 

The application and entry must be submitted online at between April 1 and May 31, 2020. 

Application process 

Parents, grandparents or legal guardians should talk to their eligible high school seniors about applying right away. Applications can be completed online at beginning April 1.


Forty-one years of partnership — and still going strong

The NACo-Nationwide Scholarship is one of the many benefits available as a result of four decades of partnership between Nationwide and the National Association of Counties (NACo) 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 1.877.677.3678.

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

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