Huge, life defining decisions are in play when one begins to plan and consider post high school education. There are many options and choices that families have for consideration. Doing nothing or making no plans is a decision. Ideally, one would want to be the most informed as possible to make sound and wise decisions.
For many in primary or elementary school, post high school is far off in considering the future. The Putnam 4-H Education Pledge is a program with many elements that will bring information to families enabling an early start to building expectations for post high school education.
The program uses the term “post high school education” because the discussion should not be centered on a traditional four-year college degree. In fact, the labor markets are hungry for skilled labor that does not involve a college degree and leaving many in work force development pondering how to meet the needs. Furthermore, the program is centered on building the “expectation” of youth seeking some sort of post high school education and realizing the attainment of such education.
Several studies have shown that there are significant differences in those who have a post high school educational savings plan compared to those who do not have such a plan. Research supports that the money or funds being placed into such accounts is not as much a factor as is building the expectation that one has post high school educational goals and objectives to be met.
The Putnam 4-H Education Pledge will include workforce development and other professional experiences providing youth with life skills needed to find their niche in the work force. The Putnam County 4-H Council is sponsoring $25 payment to 529 plan funds for those in third and sixth grade as of 1/1/19 and plans to continue with future incentive programs for these grades.
Currently, less than eight percent of Putnam youth in grades K-12 have a 529 college savings plan, thus many families are missing out on a key state income tax direct credit. Research from Washington University in St. Louis suggests that youth who have a 529 college savings plan for post high school education are greater than 70 percent more likely to go and seek education after high school compared to those who do not. Having an account played a bigger role than how much was in the account.
Only $25 will get one started with college savings using the College Choice 529 Savings plan that is recognized by the state of Indiana to receive a 20 percent direct income tax credit. Parents, grandparents, family etc. can make gifts obtaining a 20 percent direct credit back on state income taxes. The $25 Putnam 4-H match program will only be available to 4-Hers who were in grades three and six as of 1-1-19, completed 4-H and these individuals need to bring the UGift form associated with the account to receive the $25 into the account. Bingo… the child now has at least $50 saved for post high school education!