Frequently Asked QUESTIONS
These FAQs cover questions often asked by parents, guardians, and everyone else. There are four different sets of FAQs that all cover different aspects of the program, including the Promise, enrollment, CollegeChoice 529, and champions.
More information on the Promise can be found at www.promiseindiana.org.
More information on CollegeChoice 529 direct accounts can be found at www.collegechoicedirect.com.
Why talk about college and careers with young students?
We believe students can dream about their futures as early as kindergarten!
Aren’t elementary students too young to understand what college is?
Part of the goal of the Promise is to generate conversation and curiosity about college, even among our youngest students and their parents. It’s never too early to dream about the future. The Promise is part of a K-12 approach and the activities are an age-appropriate introduction to college and career discovery.
Who is running this program?
The Promise is a collaboration among many partners: school districts, community organizations, businesses, and funders.
Why did you choose to work with CollegeChoice529?
CollegeChoice 529 is the State of Indiana's plan. It provides a state tax credit for Hoosiers. Learn more about the plan at the Indiana Education Savings Authority.
What are the classroom activities?
Lesson ideas are provided to classroom teachers around the county, who then develop age-appropriate lessons to help students in the area of college and career discovery.
What does it cost to participate?
Through the Promise, you can sign up for a CollegeChoice 529 direct account with no dollars invested. Promise Porter County will make an initial $25 deposit for you.
If I opt out now, will I have the opportunity to sign up at a later date?
In order to participate in the Promise, you must sign up for your CollegeChoice 529 direct account during the enrollment window. Promise Porter County is enrolling kindergarten and first grade students only so you need to sign up when your student is going to be or is currently in kindergarten or first grade.
How do I sign my child up for this program?
Your student's school may host an enrollment event, but you can start an account online through our website at any time. On the main page click "Your Account" tab. then click the "Log in to or set up your 529 account". You will need the account owner (adult) and account beneficiary (student) social security numbers. Step by step enrollment instructions are available by clicking on banner at top of the Your Account page.
Do I have to attend the “Walk Into My Future” event with my child to participate?
All first grade students will participate in the “Walk Into My Future” event, which includes a college visit. Students do not need to open a CollegeChoice 529 direct account to participate in this event, and while you are welcome to join us, it is not required.
I have one child who is eligible for an incentive deposit and one child who is not. Can they both participate?
We encourage you to open a CollegeChoice 529 direct account for both children, however only the child in the eligible grade level cohorts will be participating in the Promise.
I have a child in kindergarten or first grade; will he receive matching funds every year of school?
We cannot guarantee any additional funds beyond the current school year and incentives, but we hope to be able to support students throughout their school career.
CollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Accounts
What if my child decides not to continue their education after high school?
A 529 plan account owner controls the account. That means you can change your beneficiary to another eligible “member of the family” (as per plan rules) with no tax penalty. You can even use it yourself. If no one will be able to utilize the funds for educational expenses, they can be withdrawn with taxes due on the earnings. The $25 champions match does revert back to the county if not used by original beneficiary.
What if my child already has a 529 account?
That’s great! We can link your existing CollegeChoice 529 direct account to the Promise program. Contact us to learn how to link your account to the Promise program, or download this form and return it to Promise Porter County.
Do I have be the child’s parent to set up a CollegeChoice 529 direct account?
No; parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, or family friends can be an account owner.
If I sign up for an account, who has access to the personal information I provide?
Your personal information will be protected and will only be used to open the account and not shared with a third party.
Can a 529 be used for other education - besides college - for example, a certificate?
You can use your account assets for many higher education expenses, including tuition, fees, and certain room and board costs. This includes 2-and 4-year colleges, graduate schools, vocational/technical schools, and some certification programs. Click here to learn if an program qualifies for 529 withdrawals.
Can a CollegeChoice 529 direct account only be used in Indiana?
You can use the assets at any eligible school around the country and abroad—not just in Indiana. Click here to learn if an institution qualifies for a 529. Any institution that accepts federal financial aid will qualify!
If I move out of the county, does my child keep the CollegeChoice 529 direct account?
You continue to own your 529 account even if you relocate outside of the county. However, if you relocate you will not be eligible for matching gifts in future years of the program.
What if I want to use an account advisor?
Only CollegeChoice 529 direct accounts are eligible for the Promise Porter County program. You will need a direct account to participate in this program, but it is permissible to have multiple 529 savings accounts.
How can I keep track of the account?
You can opt to receive quarterly statements on your CollegeChoice 529 direct account. You can also keep track of the funds in your direct account by logging in at any time.
Can I make deposits to the CollegeChoice 529 direct account at other times?
You can make deposits to your 529 account any time you want via the CollegeChoice 529 direct website. That is the way to see the most gains in the funds for your student.
Can an account that starts with just $25 really help my child pay for college?
Even small investments can make a big difference in your child’s future. CollegeChoice 529 direct account balances can grow over time!
Can I contribute the CollegeChoice529 direct account through my employer?
Yes. Contact your Human Resources Department to learn how to set up a payroll deduction.
Does my child have access to the funds when he/she turns 18 years of age?
The CollegeChoice 529 direct account continues to be under the control of the account owner, even if the beneficiary reaches the age of 18.
Becoming a Champion
What is a “champion”? Does a champion have to make a financial gift?
A champion is someone who supports a student (or students) in his or her dreams and future college and career success. A champion can help in two ways: by making a gift to a student’s CollegeChoice 529 direct account or providing written or verbal encouragement and support. Champions deposits equaling $25 or more into a student's account qualifies for a $25 community champions match.
Can I make a contribution to accounts of children in the county on a larger scale? Such as investing in an entire class or grade level of students?
Yes; you can become a champion by providing financial support for larger groups of students by class, school, district, or become a champion for children across the county. Contact Julie Giorgi at to find out how to become a champion for a larger cohort of students.
Are there protections in place to make sure the funds are used for education? Can parents access the funds provided by the match?
Special safeguards are put in place to ensure matching funds are protected from misuse.