Show her the money: Tennessee Treasury gives $5,000 scholarship to Sullivan County 5th grader
Feb 14, 2020 at 6:00 PM
NASHVILLE — Miller Perry Elementary School fifth-grader Abigail Berry has something not many her age do: $5,000 toward her college education that will grow tax free, thanks to a scholarship promotion she won from the Tennessee Treasury.
Wednesday in the state capital, State Treasurer David H. Lillard Jr. along with Sen. Jon Lundberg, R-Bristol, and Rep. Bud Hulsey, R-Kingsport, recognized 10-year-old Abigail as the winner of TNStars’ $5,000 Holiday Scholarship Giveaway.
During the month of December, the TNStars College Savings 529 Program promoted a scholarship giveaway contest, encouraging Tennessee families to enter their children to win a $5,000 college scholarship. Abigail, one of more than 2,000 entrants across the state, was randomly selected as the winner.
Abigail said she dreams of becoming a surgeon as a way to help others. Outside of class, she loves to play volleyball and cheer.
“We are very excited about this opportunity and can’t wait to see how Abigail uses this to achieve her academic goals and future success as a surgeon,” her mother, Crystal Berry, said in a news release from the Treasury.
“Research shows that students who save money for college are seven times more likely to attend college” Lundberg said in the release. “In Tennessee, we want every student to pursue post-secondary education, whether that’s at a university, community college or college of applied technology, to best prepare them to enter the workplace.”
Abigail’s $5,000 prize will be deposited into a TNStars account. These funds, along with any additional amounts contributed to it, can be used to cover her future post-secondary education expenses, ranging from tuition and housing to books, computers and more.
"It's important to start saving early so that compounding interest works for you rather than against you with student loans," Lillard said in the release.
Lillard said national student loan debt has surpassed $1.5 trillion. One way to reduce this debt is to set children on a path to success by opening a college savings account. The TNStars College Savings 529 Program was created to encourage Tennessee families to save and invest for the future cost of higher education in a tax-advantaged way. Families can open an account with as little as $25 to start.
“Abigail has an excellent opportunity to get a great education in Sullivan County,” Hulsey said in the release. “We hope this scholarship will put you and your family on a solid track toward the college savings you will need to pursue your career dreams.”
TNStars is designed to give Tennessee families high-quality investment options at a low cost to help them put aside money for higher education expenses. Tennesseans can invest directly with the program and funds can be withdrawn tax-free from a TNStars account as long as it is used for qualified higher education expenses. For more information about the TNStars College Savings 529 program, go online to visit TNStars.com.