Asset Building Briefs & Summaries Financial Inclusion

College Savings Plans: A Platform for Inclusive and Progressive Child Development Accounts

As college savings plans become more relevant and necessary for children in the United States, innovative policy is needed to ensure that all children have access to savings for education needs, not just those whose parents are able to save for them. Child Development Accounts (CDAs) are savings or investment accounts for long-term developmental goals such as postsecondary education. A universal CDA policy that is connected to the 529 college savings plan platform is outlined here. In this brief, we describe several features of direct-sold 529s that make these plans especially well suited to CDAs. Policies such as these aim to extend the benefits of early asset accumulation to all children, with the ambitious goal of changing life trajectories.

Project: College Success 


Clancy, M. M., Sherraden, M., & Beverly, S. G. (2015, January). College savings plans: A platform for inclusive and progressive Child Development Accounts (CSD Policy Brief No. 15-07). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.