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CHARLESTON – The 14th annual SMART529 “When I Grow Up” essay contest is coming up for elementary school students. Students in kindergarten through fifth grade can win up to $5,000 invested in a SMART529 account by writing what they want to be when they grow up.

“We started this essay contest to develop a way for students to realize the importance of saving for higher education,” West Virginia Treasurer John Perdue said. “It really gets children focused and excited about their futures.”

Contest materials will be sent to schools in early January 2021 or visit SMART529.com/StudentEntry for more information. Teachers can also win $2,500 cash for writing an essay about how they will use the contest in the classroom. That application can be downloaded at SMART529.com/TeacherEntry.

West Virginia residents have approximately $670 million of the almost $3 billion in assets in the program. While SMART529 is based in West Virginia, residents from other states may also establish accounts.