I Promise_Triton_girlThe sign up for the new Marshall County Promise program is underway in all schools in Marshall County.  This program is part of the Indiana Promise program. Marshall County is one of six counties added to this state program this year.

This program brings post-secondary education and careers front of mind for elementary youth and their families through a collaborative effort called “The Promise.” The program makes educational savings a reality by helping families to start a College Choice 529 Direct Savings account through their school, seeding the account with an initial investment of $25 from a local or regional sponsor, and rallying the community to match deposits that families and champions contribute the account. Marshall County is launching the Promise program, with the support of Promise Indiana, the Indiana Education Savings Authority, Ancilla College, 1st Source Bank, the Marshall County Community Foundation, and Lilly Endowment, Inc.

Through registration at school or online, the Promise program helps families take that first step to start saving, while also integrating college and career discovery activities in the classroom. Marshall County has chosen to start the program with kindergarten and first grade students in all Marshall County schools.  Youth in the program not only build assets for post-secondary education and learn about college and careers, but they also visit a college campus for a day of interactive learning and dynamic hands-on experiences called “Walk Into My Future.” Ancilla College will host the event this fall for all county kindergarten and first grade students, with college students and faculty leading campus tours and activity stations for kindergarten and first grade youth.

Research from the Center on Assets, Education, and Inclusion at the University of Kansas shows that youth with a college savings account in their name are between three and four and half times more likely to go to college than those without an account. College Choice 529 Direct Savings accounts can be used at any eligible institution—2-year community colleges, 4-year colleges and universities, even trade and technical schools. The Promise program began in Wabash County in 2013, and has expanded each year to new communities selected through a competitive application process. Since 2014, Howard, Jay, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, and Whitley Counties have started local Promise programs.

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The Marshall County program started with kindergarten students at Triton Elementary School during the 2015-2016 school year. They thoroughly enjoyed their visit to Ancilla College and are looking forward to returning again as first graders this year.  Ancilla College is completely supportive of this program.
“We are looking forward to having 1,500 kindergartners and first graders visit our beautiful campus. We know from the event last year that some of these children have never been on a college campus and some teachers in the Marshall County school systems haven’t seen our facilities since we added residence halls, dining, new athletic teams and new academic programs. It has never been a better time to join the Ancilla family and it is never too early to start thinking about college and saving for college,” said Ancilla President Dr. Ken Zirkle.

For more information, or to register your kindergarten or first grade student, go to: http://www.marshallcountypromise.org/

Financial contributions to the program can be sent to the Marshall County Promise Fund at the Marshall County Community Foundation in Plymouth, Indiana.