Waynedale Political Commentaries


Indiana’s economy is growing and advancing. Our workforce must also grow and adapt to meet the demands of a competitive job market.

Vocational training and a college education are becoming more vital for securing high-quality, long-term employment. With that in mind, it’s never too early to prepare young Hoosiers for college.

To get elementary, middle and high schools across the state more involved and informed about preparing these students for college, Learn More Indiana facilitates College GO! Week. This week of college planning activities is meant to provide kids an understanding of what steps they must take now to help ensure they’re prepared for their future – financially and academically.

This year, the kick-off week is September 22-26. However, schools are encouraged to host their own activities during any specified week throughout the fall. Learn More Indiana will award financial grants to three schools that complete a College GO! Week and submit an application. Visit www.in.gov/collegegoweek for more information.

According to Learn More Indiana, one of the first steps for college planning is establishing a financial strategy. A useful website, www.indianacollegecosts.org , explains the financial aid process, provides calculators for determining college costs and offers scholarship search engines.

Families with young children can start saving for college early by taking advantage of Indiana’s CollegeChoice 529 savings plan. This plan offers flexible investment choices, affordable minimum contributions and tax benefits to help families prepare for post-secondary expenses down the road.  Indiana taxpayers are eligible for a state income tax credit of 20 percent of their CollegeChoice 529 contributions.

It’s also important to start the conversation with young students about what degree and certificate options are available. Whether an apprenticeship, associate or bachelor’s degree is the best fit, Indiana offers world-class education and opportunities in every avenue and field.

In fact, Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana was recently named first among two-year institutions nationwide for the number of associate degrees awarded.  And Fort Wayne alone is home to two apprenticeship programs through the Building Contractors Association and Russ Moore Transmission Experts.

Additionally, there are a number of ongoing college preparation resources available in Allen County, from college success mentoring to tips on completing the FAFSA. To see a full list of what’s offered in our county, visit cgi.asainstitute.org/cgi-bin/csc/publicstats.

The goal of College GO! Week and the state of Indiana is to get students talking about and involved in the college planning process. Getting young Hoosiers excited and educated about the options for their futures will help them find success upon graduation.

David Long - IN Dist. 16 Senator

David is a former Republican member of the Indiana State Senate representing the 16th district which encompasses Waynedale. He served as the President Pro Tempore of the Indiana State Senate. David writes the "Straight From The Senate" column for the newspaper. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer