The Inclusive Economy
Department of Education Announces Plans for Children's Savings Accounts Through GEAR UP
By Leigh Tivol on 06/01/2012 @ 04:30 PM
CFED is delighted to share an exciting new announcement from our friends and colleagues at the U.S. Department of Education. For the past several years, CFED and others have been working closely with the Department to explore the potential of linking children’s savings and financial education with efforts to help more students get to and through college. One particular effort the Department supports is the GEAR UP program, a federal initiative that helps low-income middle- and high-school students prepare for college.
Yesterday, at an event hosted by the New America Foundation, the Department of Education took the idea to a thrilling new level with the announcement of a College Savings Account Research Demonstration (click here for a summary), which will offer savings accounts and financial education to 10,000 students in GEAR UP programs across the country. The project will include a robust research component that will compare educational outcomes for these students with similar students who do not receive accounts. Not only will this project offer the opportunity for matched savings to thousands of low-income students – it also represents the largest research effort to date on children’s savings accounts in the U.S., and will provide important new insights into the power and impact of college savings.
The demonstration will leverage the extensive network of GEAR UP grantees across the country, which are already providing high-quality, comprehensive support, information and encouragement to low-income children and families to prepare them for college. GEAR UP is an ideal delivery system for children’s savings; by linking the two, the Department of Education has created a perfect marriage of college readiness and asset building.
The Department of Education has asked for public comment on the proposed demonstration. CFED will offer comments through this process, and we welcome your input; please share your thoughts and ideas with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Of course, we also encourage interested stakeholders to submit comments on your own. Please note that the comment period closes on July 2, 2012.