UPDATE: Ho-Chunk hope change sends more to college

UPDATED Monday, May 4, 2014 --- 9:54 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Ho Chunk tribal legislature is proposing a policy that would tie member payouts to achievements such as college, work and military service.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1rVaTOT ) the tribe has a shortage of qualified professionals in fields including health care, IT, accounting and management.

In 2001, the tribe started requiring a high school diploma for 18-year-olds to collect their trust fund dividend payouts. This year's graduates will collect about $200,000 each before taxes.

It's partly why Ho-Chunk high school graduation rates have dramatically increased in a generation.

The tribe declined to provide data about college enrollment and graduation rates through the years. But in a recent survey of 18- to 30-year-old Ho-Chunk members, 68 percent of respondents who said they started college at any level didn't finish.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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Posted Sunday, May 4, 2014 --- 2:52 p.m.

BLACK RIVER FALLS, Wis. (AP) -- When members of the Ho-Chunk Nation turn 18 and earn a high school diploma they receive trust funds in a lump sum that can be $200,000 or more. But too many burn through the cash and end up with little to show for their spending.

A Wisconsin State Journal report (http://bit.ly/1s7qGfm ) says tribal leaders are trying to change that. They're considering proposals to dole out the money in smaller amounts or to tie payments to college, military service and employment.

Troy Wallace got $110,000 from the Children's Trust Fund in 2006. He says it was like winning the lottery. One of the first things he did was buy a muscle car for $34,000 in cash.

Now he wishes he used the money for college or invested it.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


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