Drive to back every Ontario student with college cash launches on Tuesday

ONTARIO – The kickoff of an ambitious program to help every student in Ontario go on to college or vocational training is scheduled for 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27.

The launch of Ontario Promise will occur at the soccer fields next to Alameda Elementary School and just ahead of high school soccer games.

Under the program, the city of Ontario has teamed up with the Oregon Treasury Department to put $100 into a state savings plan. Another $100 will be coming during the 2023-2024 school year.

Any student under 19 who lives in the Ontario zip code of 97914 and who attends a recognized school program is eligible. This includes students of public and private schools and those being home schooled.

The Ontario City Council has set aside $100,000 in the current budget and an equal amount in the next fiscal budget to provide $50 per student. The Treasury Department is matching that with another $50. The money will be automatically placed into accounts for local families that already have such state savings plans.

The idea is to encourage more families to open savings plans and send children to college. Currently, only 74 students in an area of 3,500 is enrolled in such a savings plan, according to Ken Hart, Ontario City Council president and proponent of the program.

The event Tuesday will feature remarks by Hart, Ontario Mayor Riley Hill and State Treasurer Tobias Read.

Applications to enroll will be available at the event. They also can be found online at the Treasury Department.

EXCELLENCE IN JOURNALISM – Available for $7.50 a month. Subscribe to the digital service of the Enterprise and get the very best in local journalism. We report with care, attention to accuracy, and an unwavering devotion to fairness. Get the kind of news you’ve been looking for – day in and day out from the Enterprise.