As National Public Radio reported late last week, this fall the city of San Francisco is creating college savings accounts for kindergartners in half the city’s public schools, with plans to expand to all schools in fall 2012. Each child receives a minimum of $50 to start; those from families eligible for free and reduced-price lunches receive $100. Local nonprofits have agreed to match parents’ contributions up to $200.
The Kindergarten to College Program, or K to C, is a two-pronged effort to reduce the racial wealth gap between whites and minorities. The accounts themselves create a new asset for families that lack wealth, and the money is geared toward college, which should increase their children’s lifetime earning power. Research shows that among students who expect to go to college, those with college savings accounts are about seven times more likely to actually attend college.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Early Years blog.