The college savings movement is growing across the country. Its roots come from the nonprofit asset-building community (https://prosperitynow.org/about/our-approach), which is distinct from the college access and success eld. But the two movements share a deep commitment to supporting the same low-income individuals and families to build stronger futures.
By working together, we can ensure that Child or College Savings Account (CSA) programs are well-designed and integrated with the other access strategies proven to increase postsecondary enrollment and completion.
Prosperity Now outlines the benefits of such partnerships National College Attainment Network provides four case studies of organizations that have already successfully integrated children’s savings with college access services.
Thanks to a grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, NCAN is collaborating during 2018-20 with the Campaign for Every Kid’s Future (CEKF), an organization dedicated to the expansion of CSAs.
Below you’ll nd some basics about CSAs and examples of how they are operating in several U.S. communities. For more in-depth information
about CSAs, please also visit Prosperity Now’s website.
What is a CSA?
A CSA is a savings account whose proceeds are designated to pay for a student’s higher education after age 18. These accounts are often created by a state or local government or nonprofit organization and intended to encourage more students to pursue postsecondary education.
Many CSA programs offer savings incentives for low-income families who make their own deposits or engage in activities related to college
preparation or financial literacy. Investment growth in the accounts can be tax-free at the federal or state level.
In 2017, CEKF’s annual report found that 382,000 children in 54 programs had a CSA, a 22 percent increase from 2016. Programs ranged from small, community-based programs serving a few hundred kids to large-scale programs enrolling at least 2,000 children annually. These largest programs enroll the majority of children who have a CSA; the seven large programs accounted for 86 percent of total CSA enrollment.
Explore Prosperity Now’s interactive national map of CSAs to learn more about programs in your area or explore models in other communities.