Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Small Town Promise
You’ve probably heard of the Kalamazoo Promise which promises a four year college education to anyone who graduates from the local high school. The promise has created a boom in Kalamazoo, MI which had been spiraling downward prior to announcing its promise.
I learned of a similar promise in a small town of 1,000 near my hometown, but this town’s promise is not well publicized and as a result it hasn’t had the economic impact that I would like to see. The town is dormant, with a population that is aging in place.
Several years ago, a local farm family left several thousand acres of farmland and cash in trust for students of this farming town. With todays land values, that trust is today well north of $10 million. At a 5% spend ratio, the IRS formula for most trusts, the trust must spend over $500,000/year in scholarships. With only 30 students/year graduating from the local high school, the trust not only pays for undergraduate school but also for most of graduate school.
Imagine what could happen in your town with a promise like this! All it takes is one, very forward-thinking family to change a community for generations and centuries into the future.
Posted by BoomtownUSA at 4:49 AM