News Release

For Immediate Release: April 20, 2023

Money Smart Wisconsin Scholarship Contest Awards $12,000

Scholarship Program Supported by Financial Industry Promotes Financial Literacy

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), in partnership with Edvest 529, Wisconsin’s direct-sold college savings plan, and the Wisconsin Coalition on Student Debt (Coalition), today announced 12 Wisconsin high school seniors are recipients of the 2023 Money Smart Wisconsin Scholarship Contest. Ten of the 12 recipients are first generation college students. Each recipient will be awarded a scholarship in the form of a $1,000 contribution to an Edvest 529 account for their winning essay submission on how they plan to finance their higher education.

Congratulations to this year’s essay contest recipients:

  • Trinity Coffey, Eleva-Strum High School, Strum
  • Stephanie Fortier, Union Grove High School, Union Grove
  • Amber Frostman, Wausau West High School, Wausau
  • Raelynn Hansen, Laconia High School, Rosendale
  • Kaija Haveri, Washburn High School, Washburn
  • Savannah Jandrin, Luxemburg-Casco High School, Luxemburg
  • Kayleigh Kubisiak, Neillsville High School, Neillsville
  • Bailey Linzmaier, Stratford High School, Stratford
  • Ashley Naze, Luxemburg-Casco High School, Luxemburg
  • Gabriel Oswald, Chequamegon High School, Park Falls
  • Rachel Ripke, Menomonee Falls High School, Menomonee Falls
  • Michelle Wu, Menomonee Falls High School, Menomonee Falls

Members of the Coalition reviewed and scored the 117 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 DFI Secretary-designee 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 15-21, 2023. Sponsors of the scholarship contest include the DFI, Edvest 529, the Coalition, Ascendium Education Group, Educators Credit Union, SecureFutures, Summit Credit Union, and UW Credit Union. For more information, visit the Coalition’s website at or email


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