Oregon College Savings Plan Launches Be College Ready Program in Hermiston Elementary Schools

Release Date: 
08/27/2015

The State of Oregon’s 40-40-20 education plan sets a goal that by 2025, 40 percent of adult Oregonians will have a bachelor’s degree or higher, another 40 percent will have associate degrees or other certificates and the remaining 20 percent will have high school diplomas. The Oregon College Savings Plan can play an instrumental role in achieving this goal.

To help parents and families better understand the long-term benefits of higher education and how to reach their college planning goals, the Oregon College Savings Plan is launching a new program called Be College Ready. This program, which will kick off in Hermiston on August 26, will bring the Oregon College Savings Plan directly into Hermiston elementary schools, with goals of educating parents about how to plan for future college expenses, motivating kids with fun classroom materials and partnering with local business and civic organizations to provide program resources that meet the needs of each local community.

Initially, Be College Ready will be piloted in the elementary schools of five school districts, with the goal of expanding the program every year, and ultimately offering it to every school district statewide. The program was specifically designed so that school districts, individual elementary schools and parent/teacher groups can take full advantage of the program’s resources with very little time and effort.

"The City of Hermiston is pleased to see the Hermiston School District continue to lead the state with its participation in the Be College Ready program," said Mayor David Drotzmann. "This program will contribute to creating a college going culture in the Hermiston community, which will benefit our efforts as a City to attract more quality jobs and employers to our region. This type of program assists us in improving the regional workforce."

Be College Ready will allow each participating school to become certified as a 529 College Savings School. This special designation will serve as a continuous reminder to the school population, the parents and the local community about the importance of college savings and what it means to be college ready.

To become 529 certified, the school agrees to:

  • Put information about the Oregon College Savings Plan on its website
  • Share the Oregon College Savings Plan monthly updates with the school population and parents
  • Make Oregon College Savings Plan materials available in the main office
  • Host an informational session about college funding and work to promote the session to parents and the local community

In return for participating in the program each year, schools will receive the following from the Oregon College Savings Plan:

  • Homework folders
  • Pencils and pens
  • Motivational bookmarks
  • Motivational posters

In the first year, a participating school will also receive a $529 cash donation to the school’s classroom grant fund or other predetermined fund that benefits the classroom, a 529 School Certificate, and a window sticker designating it as an official 529 school.

In order to Be College Ready today, schools and families not only need to help prepare students for the academic challenges of the 21st Century, but also be knowledgeable about and prepared for the financial realities of achieving a higher education. The Oregon College Savings Plan is committed to helping families, and Be College Ready can be a great partnership between elementary schools and the communities and families they serve.

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