As college costs continue to rise at a pace that exceeds inflation, Teachers Credit Union (TCU) Thursday presented a check for $5,000 to the Fulton County Promise in an effort to assist financially and help raise awareness among parents about the importance of saving for post-secondary education.
At a ceremony at Columbia Elementary School, Karol Griffin, executive director of the TCU Foundation, and Bethaney Bauman, TCU manager of the Rochester Service Center, presented the check to Stacey Schoenhals of the Fulton County Promise. TCU’s donation will be used to match donations made to students’ 529 plans.
A 529 Plan is an education, tax-advantage savings plan operated by a state or educational institution designed to encourage saving for college costs.
The Promise is a distinctly ‘Hoosier’ state-wide initiative of comprehensive activities for youth and families to build hope for their future and create a community college-going culture. It is owned by community leaders, crafted to align with the state’s aspirations, and rooted in localities’ particular understandings of what is required to set all of their children on a path to educational success.
“Thanks to the generosity of Teachers Credit Union, the Fulton County Promise can add value to the Rochester-area educational ecosystem by connecting teachers and families and uniting the efforts and talents of diverse individuals and organizations to support college-going culture,” said Schoenhals.
“The Fulton County Promise connects the kindergarten teacher with, say, the high school AP English teacher because now they’re all helping kids dream about their future in a very consistent way.”
The average student loan debt at graduation is growing steadily according to the College Board, and seven in 10 seniors who graduated in 2015 had student loan debt that exceeded $30,000 per borrower according to the Project of Student Loan Debt.
Closer to home, research in an area near Rochester recently showed one in four residents had a degree after high school and only 6 percent of students at that time had a college savings account, such as an Indiana CollegeChoice 529 savings plan. Other research showed children with an account were at least three times more likely to attend college and four times more likely to graduate.
“Teachers Credit Union wants to help shape the next generation in the communities where we serve our members through educational savings and college and career discovery,” said Griffin. “Today’s donation is the latest example of TCU’s commitment to be a financial benefit in the communities in which it is a part.”
- Brian Johnson, Director of Development of Fulton County Community Foundation
- Bethaney Bauman (white sweater), manager of the Teachers Credit Union service center in Rochester
- Gloria Carvey (behind Bethaney), with Ivy Tech. (Ivy Tech is part of the Fulton County Promise Team as well)
- Karol Griffin, executive director of the TCU Foundation (presenting the check)
- Stacey Schoenhals, The Fulton County Promise Coordinator
- Jana Vance, Superintendent Rochester Community Schools
- Cindy Douglas (in red), Superintendent Caston Community Schools
Both School Corporations are in Fulton County and participating in the Fulton County Promise.
About Teachers Credit Union
Teachers Credit Union (TCU) has grown to become Indiana’s largest Credit Union with more than $3 billion in assets, 55 branches throughout the state of Indiana and Southwest Michigan, and more than 290,000 members. A financial cooperative owned by its members, TCU offers traditional financial services including checking, savings, mortgages and credit cards, as well as non-traditional services such as investment, insurance and travel services. And while financial service is an important part of contributing to a community, TCU’s 85-year history shows a commitment to going beyond this service and working to build a better community. For more information about TCU, visit tcunet.com.
About The Fulton County Promise
The goals of The Promise are to leverage the entire community to make it easy for families to begin saving for post-secondary education, to incentivize savings behavior with community matching funds, and to build college-saver identity for youth by exposing them to college and careers in the classroom and on campus. The Fulton County Promise helps reinforce parents’ expectations for children’s futures, fosters a community-wide culture and creates a saturation of savers. The Promise will realize success when all youth in Indiana have savings and champions from the community in their lives who support their dreams for the future.