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Money Smart Wisconsin Scholarship Contest awards $15,000

MADISON — The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions, in partnership with Edvest 529, Wisconsin’s direct-sold 529 college savings plan, and the Wisconsin Coalition on Student Debt, today announced 15 Wisconsin high school seniors as the scholarship recipients for this year’s 2024 Money Smart Wisconsin Scholarship Contest. Ten of the 15 scholarship recipients are first-generation college students. Each scholarship recipient will receive a scholarship in the form of a $1,000 contribution to a new or existing Edvest 529 account for their winning essay submission on how they plan to finance their higher education.

Congratulations to this year’s essay contest scholarship recipients:

● Destiny Counts, Muskego High School, Muskego

● Melanie Fink, New Glarus High School, New Glarus

● Jonathan Jeske, Sword of the Spirit Academy (Homeschool), Ashwaubenon

● Chase Kruchten, Sauk Prairie High School, Prairie du Sac

● Noah Krueger, DeForest Area High School, DeForest

● Nevaeh Malone, Antigo High School, Antigo

● Hallie Miller, Lodi High School, Lodi

● Xander Neal, Chippewa Falls High School, Chippewa Falls

● Nora Oleniczak, Preble High School, Green Bay

● Andie Otto, Cumberland High School, Cumberland

● Sidhdhi Patel, Prairie du Chien High School, Prairie du Chien

● Bridget Salber, Marathon High School, Marathon

● Cora Stodola, Mishicot High School, Mishicot

● Christopher Vanderwielen, Luxemburg-Casco High School, Luxemburg

● Collin Zimmermann, Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah High School, Elkhart Lake

 Members of the Wisconsin Coalition on Student Debt reviewed and scored the 160 essay submissions based on criteria including identifying funding sources for higher education and explaining how to manage student loan debt 

“These students have shown us through their essay submissions that they have developed plans to pay for college and manage potential student loan debt,” said Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions Secretary Cheryll Olson-Collins. “We applaud these students for demonstrating sound money management skills, and we encourage them to continue building their financial literacy and capability skills as they continue their education. It is our hope that this scholarship will support them in their pursuit of ongoing academic achievement.”

The Money Smart Wisconsin Scholarship Contest is part of Money Smart Wisconsin Week, a financial literacy awareness and education campaign, taking place this week, April 6-13, 2024. Sponsors of the scholarship contest include Ascendium Education Group, Educators Credit Union, Edvest 529, SecureFutures, Summit Credit Union, UW Credit Union, the Wisconsin Coalition on Student Debt, and the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. For more information, visit the Wisconsin Coalition on Student Debt’s website at or send an email to: