2017-11-01 / Front Page

Thinking post high school

Purdue Extension Corner

Sunday, Nov. 5 is a big day to be thinking about education after high school no matter the age of the youth. One major state wide event with a local host site is College Goal Sunday. On this day, there is a statewide emphasis for youth to sign up for Free Application for Federal Student Aid, likely more known as that acronym FAFSA. Completing this application is often viewed as challenging to correctly complete and time consuming. The good news is that Ivy Tech in Greencastle is a host site. Ivy Tech is located at 915 S. Zinc Mill Road. Experts in financial aid will be ready to offer free help so families can work together to file the FAFSA form online in one single afternoon.

Additionally on the same Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Fairgrounds, the Putnam 4-H Member Achievement and Volunteer Recognition program will occur. Hopkins-Rector and Bittles & Hurt Funeral Homes will be once again sponsoring and presenting the highest award in Putnam 4-H known as the Spirit of 4-H Award.

Following the awards program, at approximately 3:30 p.m., the fairgrounds will be the location of the next Putnam 4-H Education Pledge program. This program has 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 around 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 matching funds of $25 for those in third grade as of Jan. 1, 2017 and plans to continue with future grade three incentive programs.

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.

Visit our homepage at www.extension.purdue.edu/putnam or you can contact the local Purdue Extension Office by calling 765.653.8411 for more information regarding this week’s column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While many publications are free, some do have a fee. All times listed are Eastern Time.

Upcoming events

November 5 – Putnam 4-H Member Achievement & Volunteer Recognition, Fairgrounds, 2 p.m.

November 5 - Putnam 4-H Education Pledge, Fairgrounds, 3:30 p.m.

November 14 – Farmers Market Vendor Workshop Series – Establishing Your Business, Extension Office, 6:30 p.m.

November 20 – Planning for Retirement, Fairgrounds, 6 p.m.

November 29 – Farmland Rental in Indiana, Fairgrounds, 6 p.m.

(by Mark Evans, County Extension Director, 4-H Youth Development Educator, Purdue Extension Putnam County)

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