Fourth Quarterly Winners of College Savings Drawing Announced

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

March 16, 2021

Thirty-nine 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 652 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.

"I enjoy receiving the SP3 emails because they provide useful information geared towards my child's current grade level," said winner Shari Higgins of Nevada, Iowa. "Also, we have the opportunity to win money towards my child's college education."

"The monthly articles are very relatable and timely to my teenage boys' ages and are very … easy to read," Fourth-quarter winner Kim Lacey from Ankeny, Iowa agreed. "They are definitely a helpful resource to start them thinking about college and the future."

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 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 equips parents with just-in-time information to support their child's journey in post-secondary planning," said Jill Urich, director of college and career readiness for the Ankeny Community School District. "This helpful information ranges from informal talking points for dinner table conversation to more strategic, proactive action steps." She continued, "As a parent, I'm more confident navigating unchartered territory in helping our daughter prepare for college. As a school administrator, I see direct alignment with the important work of our school counselors."

More information and simple signup is available at

2020 Fourth-Quarter Winners

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

  • Curt Harris, Akron
  • Kim Lacey, Ankeny
  • David Zorich, Bettendorf
  • Matthew Bruce, Blue Grass
  • Michelle Wehr, Blue Grass
  • Robyn Barnes, Britt
  • Brenda Swailes, Cedar Falls
  • Anne Jahnke, Cedar Rapids
  • Tyler Karrels, Cedar Rapids
  • Angie Staudt, Charles City
  • Mindy Steege-Giesler, Denver
  • Nate Rushing, Des Moines
  • Steven Hill, Dubuque
  • Jennifer Manternach, Dubuque
  • Daniel Walsh, Dubuque
  • Paula Elbert, Fort Dodge
  • Kristine Fierce, Gilbert
  • Ami Dittmer, Greenfield
  • Denise Parkins, Indianola
  • Rebekah Tilley, Iowa City
  • Debra Cramer, Johnston
  • Melody Dean, Johnston
  • Tammy Lee, LeMars
  • Nichole Baker-Jones, Marion
  • Jessica Barton, Marion
  • Cindy Deahl, Marion
  • Amber Wilson, Mason City
  • Nancy Francois, Mitchellville
  • Tracy McGinnis, Muscatine
  • Shari Higgins, Nevada
  • Lori Doerschug, North Liberty
  • Ann Campbell, Norwalk
  • Cindy Gloeckner, Robins
  • Jesse Grady, Sheldon
  • Tracy Kollis, Sioux Center
  • Mandy Harder, Storm Lake
  • Melissa Bernhardt, Waukee
  • Michele Loder, West Des Moines
  • Kari Wickman, Winterset

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Media Contact

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