DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) _ Grand View College thinks children should ''take charge of their education'' - starting in the fifth grade - and will pay them to start planning early.

The college and the Des Moines school district have announced a program that would make each fifth-grader at Garton Elementary School eligible for a $500 tuition grant this year, and would increase the grant by $100 each year until high school graduation, to a maximum $1,200.

The youngsters eventually may use the grant to apply toward their tuition if they choose to attend Grand View.

Students who begin planning for college several years in advance are more likely to succeed than those who make the decision in their senior year of high school, college President Karl Langrock said Thursday.

Langrock said he hoped the program would discourage students from merely ''putting in time'' in school and would motivate them to ''take charge of their education.''

Each pupil who signs up for the program will be assigned a mentor from among the college's alumni, staff and faculty to monitor his progress. The mentor will report each year to the student's family and to officials of the school and Grand View College, Langrock said.

The program will be repeated each year for each fifth-grade class at Garton, he said.

---

CLEVELAND (AP) - Cleveland State University's cinderella basketball team sent the university's marketing director back to drawing board with a new idea.

''Sports is a great catalyst at universities,'' said Robert B. Cayne. ''When you have a winner, it directs a lot of attention to the school and while attention is focused, it is a great opportunity to tell the academic story.''

After the basketball team's successful season, which ended when it lost a 71-70 cliffhanger against Navy in the NCAA playoffs, Cayne scrapped his entire advertising campaign planned through June and revised it to focus on the team.

The university ran a three-quarter-page advertisement in the Cleveland Plain Dealer this week featuring a picture of two players and Coach Kevin Mackey.

''CSU ... A winner in more ways than one 3/8'' heralded the advertisement, which included a mail-in coupon for information about the school.

''I liken it to a performer who for 20 years has been in the business, but suddenly is an overnight smash,'' Cayne said. ''The university has been getting bigger and better, but not many have focused on it.''

A winning sports team has other advantages, including helping recruit faculty and generate alumni support, said university President Walter Waetjen. Cleveland State opened in 1965 in downtown Cleveland, and has an enrollment of more than 17,000 full-time and part-time students. Nearly all students live in the Cleveland area and commute to campus.