Joins legislators and partners in Mifflin County to highlight investment in higher education
Lewistown, PA – Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella today was joined by key county partners including Senator Jake Corman, and Representatives Kerry Benninghoff, Adam Harris, and Rich Irvin along with Kirk Thomas, Chief Administrative Officer, Geisinger Western Region, to highlight Treasury’s new scholarship grant program, Keystone Scholars. Designed to help encourage higher education aspirations and to help families start saving early, Torsella launched the Keystone Scholars program to provide a $100 scholarship grant to every child born or adopted in Pennsylvania to be used towards college and career expenses. A six-county demonstration project—financed through private funds—is available now; proposed legislation would make the scholarship grant program available statewide to every baby born in Pennsylvania.
“As parents, we all believe our children can do great things. But every year it becomes harder and harder to pay for the education that will help get them there. An early start is one of the best tools we have to build higher education savings. That’s why I’m thrilled to bring Keystone Scholars to Mifflin County, so we can help every family get started building their new child’s future. I’m also honored by the support of so many civic-minded Pennsylvanians and organizations that have made this possible."
Pennsylvania Treasurer, Joe Torsella
The Treasurer’s visit to Mifflin County was part of his Keystone Scholars launch tour, which includes events in every one of the six demonstration project counties. In Lewistown, he held a press conference at Geisinger Lewistown Hospital with local partners. As part of the press conference, new parents Seth and Lauren O’Donnell shared why they opened a Keystone Scholars account for their child
Treasury’s growing list of partners in Mifflin County include: Geisinger, Juniata River Valley Chamber of Commerce, Mifflin County, Mifflin County Communities that Care, United Way of Mifflin-Juniata, and Synder Union Mifflin Child Development, Inc.
Also, as part of the hospital tour the Treasurer had the opportunity to tour the Geisinger Lewistown Hospital Family Place.
“When we welcome a little one, we talk a lot about all of the upcoming firsts – whether first steps, first tooth, first day of school or even first car. But all too often one of the most important firsts becomes a second, third or even a lost thought. The value of starting early to save for a college education cannot be overstated. A $100 grant today is the beginning of an investment that grows with your child."
Senator, Jake Corman
“Investing in our children is one of the most important aspects of community building. Geisinger is delighted with this offering from PA Treasury and will extend full cooperation to ensure all parents of children born in Geisinger Lewistown Hospital are aware of the program."
Representative, Kirk Thomas
Treasurer Torsella unveiled the Keystone Scholars program in February 2018, which included the announcement of a demonstration project for all families living in Delaware, Elk, Indiana, Luzerne, Mifflin, and Westmoreland counties. Treasury raised $2.25 million in private funds to finance the demonstration project, so that every baby born or adopted from January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2019 within the six-counties will be eligible for a $100 scholarship grant. Families have until the child’s first birthday to claim the Keystone Scholarship.
The scholarship grant will grow through investment. Families have until their child turns 29 years old to use the funds. The scholarship grant – and any additional college savings each family saves by opening a PA 529 account – can be used for any qualified higher education expense at an approved institution of higher education, including trade schools, vocational programs, community colleges, and universities in or outside Pennsylvania.
All funds for the demonstration project are coming from philanthropic sources that include the Richard King Mellon Foundation, the Henry L. Hillman Foundation, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency Foundation, and the Neubauer Family Foundation. The demonstration project also includes The National Philanthropic Trust and research support from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education and Duke University’s Common Cents Lab.
Families can preregister their child for Keystone Scholars at www.pa529.com/keystone by clicking on Sign Up. Once they have received their child’s birth certificate, they can log back in to finish their registration. Keystone Scholarships are available to children born in 2018 and 2019 to families living in the six demonstration project counties: Delaware, Elk, Indiana, Luzerne, Mifflin, and Westmoreland.
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