College Kids Children’s Savings Account Program Tishaura O. Jones, Treasurer City of St. Louis College Kids Accounts Universal • Children’s savings account (CSA) opened for every kindergartner in SLPS and City charter schools • CSA is opened at 1st Financial Federal Credit Union with St. Louis City Treasurer’s Office (STLTO) tax ID and without student social security numbers • Parents are able to “opt out” of the program but do not need to “opt in” – Accounts will be opened universally based on enrollment data submitted to the state Restricted to Postsecondary Expenses • Treasurer designated as custodian and each individual student as beneficiary – Parents unable to independently make withdrawals • Funds are deposited and earned separately – Program funds: incentives and matches, processed through the College Kids program – Private, Non-program funds: family and student contributions, deposited with the credit union College Kids Program Earnings and Growth • Initial $50 deposit “seeded” by the STLTO • Opportunity to earn an additional $200 in the first year through participation and savings – $1 Weekly Perfect Attendance – Steady Saver 1:1 match for first $100 saved – Up to $50 for Financial Education Accessing and Contributing • Participants can view account balances and incentives earned through VistaShare Outcomes Tracker portal website or app • Deposits can be made at participating shared branch locations or through online banking Account Withdrawals • Requests for disbursements must be made through the College Kids program and are paid to third party (university, bookstore, etc.) • Parents can request up to 3 emergency withdrawals of Non-Program funds • Unused, Non-program funds will be transferred from custodian to beneficiary at age 21, per the Missouri Transfer to Minors Law • Program funds are to be used for qualifying expenses: – Tuition, mandatory fees, books, supplies, and equipment – Accommodations for special educational needs – Application fees and fees for the ACT, SAT, and AP college entrance and placement exams • Unused Program funds are returned to College Kids Impact • Children of low-to-moderate income families with $500 or less saved for college are 3 times more likely to enroll and 4 times more likely to graduate from college than those with no savings • Mentally designating savings for school leads to the formation of a “college saver identity” – child has identified saving as a strategy to attain the future of college attendance • Assets have positive social, psychological, and civic effects that are independent of the effects of income • Model: K2C San Francisco—over 2,600 families have saved over $1 million dollars since 2010 • Connect unbanked St. Louis families with healthy and safe financial products and services Partners Washington University 1st Financial Federal Credit Union Center for Social Development VistaShare City of St. Louis Treasurer’s Office Wells Fargo St. Louis Charter Schools 1:1 Fund St. Louis Public Schools District Campaign for Every Kids Future Treasurer Jones with President Bill Clinton and other commitment makers at the Clinton Global Initiative America in June 2015 Collaboration between over a dozen partners nationwide dedicated to the growth of children’s savings. The mission is to ensure that at least 1.4 million children have a savings account in their name by 2020. Resources 1. Assets and Education Initiative. (2013). Building Expectations, Delivering Results: Asset-Based Financial Aid and the Future of Higher Education. In W. Elliott (Ed.), Biannual report on the assets and education field. Lawrence, KS: Assets and Education Initiative (AEDI). 2. Elliott, W., Destin, M., & Friedline, T. (2011). Taking stock of ten years of research on the relationship between assets and children's educational outcomes: Implications for theory, policy, and intervention. Children and Youth Services Review, 33(11), 2312-2328. 3. Elliott, W. (2013). Small-dollar children’s savings accounts and children's college outcomes. Children and Youth Services Review, 35(3), 572-585. 4. Sherraden, M. (1991). Assets and the poor: A new American welfare policy. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe. 5. Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. (2014). Where value meets values: The economic impact of community colleges. 6. St. Louis Graduates. (2012). One student at a time: Advancing the goal of degree completion in the St. Louis region. 7. St. Louis Regional Chamber & Growth Association. (n.d.). Talent: The future of metro St. Louis is the talent economy. 8. St. Louis Regional College Access Pipeline Project. (2011). Getting ready, getting in and getting through. St. Louis.