LUZERNE COUNTY -- Parents of babies born this year can get free scholarship money in one area county but very few even know about the program.
Luzerne County is one of six in our state and the only county in our region chosen for this test program.
Kids born in Luzerne County in 2018 can get $100 placed into an educational savings account. All their parents have to do is a little paperwork. free money for scholarships.
Harley Metzger of Hanover Township expects to be a mother for the first time in late May.
"We want to make sure we have money put aside for our kids to be able to go to a good school," Metzger said.
She can get a $100 head start for the baby with a Keystone Scholarship.
Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella came up with the Keystone Scholars Program. Torsella cites Reseach showing children with educational savings accounts are three times more likely to pursue college or vocational school educations just because they have an account.
"Someone is saying to that kid, 'you have a future beyond high school, and we believe in you and we're depending on you to be there,'" Torsella said.
Under the Keystone Scholarships, newborns in six counties, including Luzerne, get $100 in a 529 Educational Savings Account.
If parents do not put more money in the account, interest alone will add up to almost $500 by the time they graduate high school.
If parents contribute $25 a month to the account, their kids would have $14,000 towards higher education.
"It's a way to get those kids started on a path of saving for something after high school," said Torsella.
Liz Cummings of West Wyoming is due with her second child in October. She says she'll sign up for the Keystone Scholars Program and add to the $100.
"Anytime you get free money, it's always good," Cumming said.
The program is run by the State Treasurer's Office, but the money comes from private foundations.
Torsella, who is a Democrat, says lawmakers from both parties are looking to expand the program statewide.
Go here for more information on the Keystone Scholarship.
Parents have until the child's first birthday to sign up.