Promise IndianaThat old saying about it “taking a village” to raise a child is embodied in the Promise Indiana goal of expanding access to 529 college savings accounts for Hoosier children.

In fact, Promise Indiana’s program is directed at communities around Indiana that work to help equip their youth and families with a number of financial resources and support, including the savings and behaviors that can be associated with good educational outcomes.

BizVoice® magazine took an expanded look at the Promise Indiana program in 2015 (here’s a link to that story). The program has expanded each year since then and is now seeking communities to launch their own Promise for the 2019-2020 school year.

The deadline for the application (which is available and can be completed online) is Friday, March 29.

Another way we’ve highlighted Promise Indiana’s work is through our long-range economic development plan for the state, Indiana Vision 2025, and the Indiana Vision 2025 Report Card regional forums as an example of “promising” Outstanding Talent initiatives.

At least 25 communities have launched a Promise program since 2014. See a list of those partners at: https://www.promiseindiana.org/partner-or-pilot.

Here’s a quick look at what the Promise Indiana program entails, from the Promise Indiana web site: www.promiseindiana.org.

The design of Promise Indiana aligns the goal of increasing educational attainment around our state with implementation that remains rooted in each community’s particular needs, challenges, and strengths.

Each Promise community commits to making it easy for families to begin saving for post-secondary education, providing matching funds to encourage savings behavior and grow assets, and engaging local partners like schools and youth-serving organizations that can help shape the college-going identities of youth. 

Promise Indiana has a dedicated team to support communities as they launch their local program and new counties are selected to launch the program each year through a competitive application process.

In Indiana Vision 2025, the Indiana Chamber outlines many goals for educational attainment as part of our Outstanding Talent driver. Those goals include increasing the proportion of Hoosiers with high quality postsecondary credentials, eliminating educational achievement gaps, increasing the proportion or Indiana students graduating from high school that are college and/or career ready and more.

And from that 2015 BizVoice story, here’s why this Promise can be effective at accomplishing some of these goals: research shows students with a college savings account are about seven times more likely to attend college than those who don’t have an account. And even those with a low balance in an education account (between $1 and $499) are four and a half times more likely to graduate from college.

Every community or “village” in Indiana can assist.

Promise.

Charlee Beasor is the communications & PR manager for the Indiana Chamber. She is also a writer for the Chamber’s award-winning BizVoice magazine and has been with the organization for eight years.