Salute to Indiana's Future Leaders
July 01, 2007
Do you know an outstanding young leader in your school? Or how about a young person who has gone above and beyond in serving their community? If so, they may be excellent candidates for an Indiana CollegeChoice 529 Investment Plan Future Leader Award.
The Future Leader Award is a program of the Indiana Education Savings Authority that is administered through my office. As IESA Chairman, I enjoy honoring 4th–8th grade students that exhibit exceptional leadership qualities. At the start of each school year, we seek nominations throughout the Hoosier State to identify students that exemplify one or more of the following qualifications:
• Excellence in academics, art, or music
• Leadership in community service projects
• Overcoming a personal obstacle
• Admired by fellow students as a leader
Winners of the Future Leader Award receive a $1000 CollegeChoice 529 Investment account. Winners have excelled in academics, extra-curricular activities, the arts, music, sports, and various community service and charity projects. In addition to the individual award, the school receives a $250 award for funding special projects determined by the nominating teacher or principal.
Preparation is the key to success and good leaders prepare and plan. The students we recognize as Future Leaders demonstrate a passion for their schools, their communities, and their peers. On behalf of all of in state government, I am proud to award them with a scholarship to begin to prepare them for their future education.
Parents should know that Indiana's CollegeChoice 529 Investment Plan is an education investment vehicle that combines attractive tax benefits with flexible investment options to begin saving for college funding needs. Earnings on the CollegeChoice Plan are exempt from state and federal income taxes when used for qualified expenses. In addition, this year, Hoosiers who contribute to a CollegeChoice 529 Investment account will receive a 20% tax credit, up to $1000. This tax credit makes Indiana's plan the most tax-advantaged plan in the nation!
In addition to the tax credit, Indiana residents can enroll in the plan's age-based investment option directly without the use of a financial advisor. When this direct registration option is selected, there are no sales commissions. Finally, as a further incentive to begin saving for college, Hoosiers don't pay a state authority fee and the annual maintenance fee is waived for those who contribute to their account through payroll deduction or automatic debit from a checking or savings account.
Our goal at the Indiana Education Savings Authority is to assist parents of young Hoosiers in fighting the ever-increasing cost of higher education. And our plan is working! More than 12,000 Hoosier families have begun investing in their children's higher education with an Indiana CollegeChoice 529 Plan since January 1, 2007.
As Governor Daniels said recently in promoting our program, "The future is coming fast, so now is the time to start to save."
Nominations for the on-going Future Leader program may be submitted by anyone who knows of a student deserving of the award. For complete program rules and a nomination form, go online to www.collegechoiceplan.com/leader or call (317) 232-5259.