First Quarterly Winners of College Savings Drawing Announced

Parents Entered in Drawing After Receiving College and Career Planning Information for Their Students

June 24, 2020

Thirty-five Iowa parents and guardians each received $250 in college savings deposits after their entries were randomly selected in a quarterly drawing sponsored by Iowa Student Loan®. The winners were among 344 eligible participants who entered after receiving free college and career planning information for their middle and high school students.

The information service, SP3 or Student Planning Pointers for Parents, is provided by the nonprofit student loan provider to help parents and guardians guide their students through eighth through 12th grades with an eye to the future.

"Parents are often unsure of how to help their student think about and plan for the future. We want to help them understand the planning steps that apply to each student's grade level and what they as a family can do now to prepare for success in college and careers," said Steve McCullough, president and CEO of Iowa Student Loan.

The free service is provided via twice-monthly emails to parents and guardians who sign up at Registered recipients have the opportunity to enter the quarterly drawings for deposits into a college savings account.

"This is a hard time for our seniors," said winner Lisa Baxter of Bennett, Iowa. "They are missing out on a lot and this was such a nice surprise … I want you to know that hard working Iowans appreciate your support as we navigate college expenses for our children."

"I do find the e-mails informational as I am a first timer going through [the college planning process]," said Michelle Funke, a winner from Dyersville, Iowa.

The SP3 service is provided in partnership with College Savings Iowa, ICAN, the Iowa School Counselor Association and Strada Education Network.

Articles are carefully researched and informed by 40 years of experience in the higher education industry. Additionally, parents and guardians are provided with multiple resources to further explore topics of particular interest.

The information is targeted to specific grade levels to correspond with students' current stages. The consistent format that explains why the topic is important, what students can do now, additional steps they should take later and what parents can do. In addition, talking points are provided as a guideline for approaching the topic with students.

"SP3 has allowed our parents to connect to concise, easy-to-read information relevant to their child's career and college readiness," said Carmen Stenger, school counselor at Monticello High School. "While the information and resources are very helpful, my favorite part of these resources is the talking points section for parents to start career conversations with their teens."

More information and simple signup is available at

2020 First-Quarter Winners

Each winner below received a $250 deposit to an established 529 college savings plan account.

  • Marc Anderson, Eldora
  • Jennifer Anderson, New Providence
  • Nichole Baker-Jones, Marion
  • Lisa Bauer, Monticello
  • Lisa Baxter, Bennett
  • Angela Branstetter, Eldridge
  • Jill Brunkan, Eldridge
  • D Carnesi, Decorah
  • Debra Cramer, Johnston
  • Mark Davis, Calmar
  • Phillip Dunne, Marion
  • Michelle Funke, Dyersville
  • Sandra Gorham, Polk City
  • Tess Goudy, Cedar Rapids
  • Mary Herbert, De Soto
  • Aimee Hospodarsky, Monticello
  • Diane Hudson, Cedar Rapids
  • Matthew Kearns, Marion
  • Terri Keller, Center Point
  • Jason Knockel, Dubuque
  • M.A. Lautzenhiser, West Des Moines
  • Tammy Lee, LeMars
  • Ben Lors, Cumming
  • Laura McPike, Waukee
  • Jennifer Mitchell, Clive
  • Amy Nelson, Donahue
  • Jennell Owens, Ankeny
  • Jill Parker, Pella
  • Christine Pilcher, Princeton
  • Marilyn Reinertson, Eldora
  • Quinn Ruhl, Keokuk
  • Jill Schmidt, Grimes
  • Sue Serbousek, Cedar Rapids
  • Angie Weiland, Wesley
  • Christa Wilson, Donahue

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Media Contact

Christopher Weishaar, Digital PR Specialist, (515) 273-7102,