McRae: College Savings Mississippi Art Contest Open Now

What do you want to be when you grow up? It’s a question every child is asked at one point or another. Whether their answer is “Princess” or “President,” let them put pen to paper, draw out their future, and enter their creation into the 2022 College Savings Mississippi Art Contest.

Each year, your State Treasury gives students, ages PreK through Grade 12, the opportunity to compete for $3,000 worth of Art Contest scholarships – and this year’s contest is officially open!

We are offering awards in four age categories (PreK-Grade 2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12), with the first-place finisher in each group receiving a $500 scholarship, second place receiving $250, and third place receiving $100.

The scholarships come in the form of a Mississippi Affordable College Savings (MACS) account, which is offered through your State Treasury.

Today, the average Mississippi student graduates with around $30,000 worth of debt – and that number is only rising. This debt can have big impact on your child – often delaying life’s major milestones, such as getting married, buying a home, and even starting a family.

MACS, however, makes it easy for people to start putting money away. It operates like a souped-up savings account, allowing you to earn interest while also delivering tax advantages for most contributors. Parents, grandparents, and others can open an account for just $25, making it a great gift idea for birthdays, holidays, and even kindergarten graduations.

A MACS investment does need to be used on educational expenses, but there is a lot that can qualify. For instance, families can use their MACS-account dollars for tuition, books, supplies, and certain room and board expenses. If your child attends a private school, the tax-advantaged funds can be used for elementary and secondary tuition expenses as well. It’s also a great option if you’re saving for continued education, such as a Master’s degree. You can learn about all the applications at

For the students participating in this year’s Art Contest, I’m hopeful the winning scholarships will kickstart recipients’ college-saving plans while increasing awareness about the benefits of starting a MACS account.

What I love about this contest is that it celebrates seeing the ordinary from a new perspective, and that’s the exact same skill set required to succeed in both higher education and the workforce.

I was blown away by the talent and creativity last year, so I’m already looking forward to 2022’s submissions. This year’s contest closes on February 28, so now is the time to put paintbrush to paper!

Whether your child’s response to “what do you want to be when you grow up” is “Princess” or “President,” please visit to learn more about this unique scholarship opportunity.