Arkansas legislature aims to help citizens attend college

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LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas legislature is currently hearing a bill that could help students born in the state pay for college.

On Tuesday, the House Committee on Education discussed House Bill 1020 which if enacted would create the General Assembly Promise Lottery Scholarship Program.

Under the program, the state treasurer would create an account for each child born in the state after January 1, 2018. Up to $100 would be deposited in the account at birth. Parents then have the option to deposit their own amounts into the account.

“We’re trying to encourage parents to begin early to invest in their child’s opportunity to attend college,” Fredrick Love, the sponsor of the bill told THV11.

Each year the funds would continue grow from inflation along with deposits made by the parents.

Love is currently working on an amendment that would also allocate a portion of the lottery proceeds into each accounts.

The funds would continue to be deposited until the child’s 18th birthday.

The scholarship money, the legislature noted, must be used at an institution of higher learning in the state of Arkansas. It must also be used before the child’s 22nd birthday or be forfeit and placed back into the lottery.

The bill is expected to be debated Thursday morning.