LANCASTER—After winning the HEB Academic Excellence Award last year, Lancaster ISD decided to invest the $50,000 award in the future of the 2018-19 Kindergarten class. The district is opening a 529 College Savings Account for every current Kindergarten student in partnership with United Way Metropolitan Dallas and Communities Foundation of Texas via the Dollars for College program.
“In Lancaster ISD, we change lives for generations to come,” Superintendent Elijah Granger said. “We believe that creating these accounts will help instill a college-ready mindset in all kindergarten students and assist their families with financial planning for their postsecondary education.”
United Way of Metropolitan Dallas Director of Economic Mobility Mark Hamm said he believes in this program. He said this will definitely help prepare families for the rising cost of college.
“We are excited to partner with Lancaster on such a great program as Dollars for College,” Hamm said. “Statistics show that children with a college savings plan are three times more likely to go to college, and four times more likely to graduate.”
Investing In The Class Of 2032
Although these students are barely six years old, the district wants them to know that having a college mindset is very important at an early age.
“We want our kindergarten not to have the mindset of will they go to college,” Lancaster ISD Assistant Superintendent Pam Brown said. “We want them to have the mindset of where will they go to college.”
Lancaster ISD teachers have event bought into the program as they are already talking to students about their future.
“These students will be our future doctors, lawyers, teachers and our principals,” Lancaster ISD Pleasant Run elementary teacher Carmalita Rodgers said. “It is a smart decision on our part to begin investing in them now and instilling in them the mindset that they will go to college when they graduate.”
Within two years the students could potentially have $500 in their college savings account with matched funds as well as other incentives from the district.
“Students will have the opportunity to earn incentives along the way to add funds to their college savings funds,” Brown said. “Parents can also add to the fund at any time they wish as well.”
Brown said Superintendent Granger wanted to ensure that Lancaster ISD is investing in students at an early age.
“It is never too early to start watering the dreams of going to college,” Brown said.
Parents in the district are excited about this new program. Cameisha Borner and her husband currently have four children with one child in Lancater ISD’s Early College High School and their baby girl is in Kindergarten.
“When we heard about this program we were very excited as parents,” Borner said. “If it wasn’t for this program I do not know how we could afford to send our youngest child to college.”
Parents of current kindergarten students at Lancaster ISD can obtain more information by visiting our parent page at www.lancasterisd.org or speaking with their elementary school counselor.