“Children with $500 or less saved for college are three times more likely to enroll in college and four times more likely to graduate,” according to the Assets and Education Initiative, as published in the CFED (Corporation for Enterprise Development) Fact File in 2014.
In an era when college costs are skyrocketing, these compelling statistics presented an opportunity for the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) to step in. To provide a head start on saving for college, this month NJHS launched its first-ever individual student award program.
The NJHS Outstanding Achievement Award will recognize 500 of the most exceptional NJHS members nationwide with a $500 college savings award, to be program-managed by Oppenheimer Funds (OFI Private Investments) as part of the New Mexico Education Trust Board’s 529 college savings plan—The Education Plan.
Schools affiliated with the National Junior Honor Society may nominate as many members as they wish. Winners will be selected based on demonstrated excellence in the five pillars of NJHS: scholarship, service, leadership, character, and citizenship. Financial need, as evidenced by participation in the National School Lunch Program will be considered; however, financial need is not a requirement for nomination or selection.
Dr. Jonathan Mathis, director of the National Honor Societies, explains, “There is abundant research to support the prudence of promoting college preparation and readiness in the middle level years. This readiness extends beyond academics and involves financial foresight and planning. NJHS is pleased to be able to offer this award to address a critical need in helping members plan for their futures.”
The deadline for nominations is February 19. An adviser must make the nomination, which requires a principal’s certification. Winners will be announced in the spring.
Applications and further information are available on the NJHS website. The National Junior Honor Society is a program of NASSP, founded in 1929.