College GO! Week in Indiana: What it means for you at any age

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Changing your perspective on student loan debt

By Lindy Thackston

INDIANAPOLIS (October 28, 2014) – Indiana is celebrating College Go! Week, the annual campaign designed to help Hoosiers of all ages plan for education beyond high school.

“And that means from a very young age understanding what we mean by college, understanding what your options are and then as you get closer, taking those very specific practical steps that are going to make sure that you’re equipped to access college and ultimately graduate from college,” said Jason Bearce, Associate Commissioner for the Indiana Commission for Higher Education.

Tuesday is College Application Day. High Schools across the state will be helping seniors complete and submit at least one college application. Students will work directly with counselors to walk through the application process and will be encouraged to start their financial aid forms.

“It’s very easy to put these things off to the last minute but our message to students if you want to have the most options, the most range of opportunities, it really pays to get a jump start and do these things as quickly as possible,” said Bearce.

“We don’t just want students to go to college,” said Bearce. “We want them to go to a college where they’re going to be successful and part of that is really thinking about what careers you’re interested in before you decide on college because although all our colleges have a wide range of options, some college options are better for certain careers and certain credentials than others.”

Sponsored by the state’s Learn More Indiana outreach initiative, College GO! Week features special contests and events, including:

Student Contests: One student at each grade level—from kindergarten through grade 12—will win $529 for their College Choice 529 Savings Plan. Students in grades K-5 will complete a poster activity and grades 6-12 will write an essay explaining how $529 will help them prepare for college. Entries must be submitted by 5 p.m. (EST) on Nov. 21. Learn more here.

School Grants: Three Indiana schools—one elementary school, one middle school and one high school—will have the chance to win a $1,000 grant to support their local college readiness efforts. To enter to win, schools can write a submission letter explaining their current activities and how they would use the funds to further support their students in preparing for college. Entries must be submitted by 5 p.m. (EST) on Nov. 21. Learn more here.