2017 News

CSD research informs California’s new college savings grant program

To encourage low- to moderate-income families to save for college, California has adopted the Every Kid Counts Act, which provides $3 million to fund a matching grant program.

The ScholarShare Investment Board, which oversees California’s 529 college savings plan, will administer the program. Margaret Clancy, policy director at the Center for Social Development (CSD), serves on ScholarShare’s Matching Grant Program Advisory Committee.

Over the past several months, Clancy has shared research findings from SEED for Oklahoma Kids (SEED OK) and state 529 plans.

California State Treasurer John Chiang said California “must re-imagine new and cost-effective ways for its citizens to afford a decent home, a college diploma and a dignified retirement.”

“With the support of the Governor and the lawmakers, my office will now begin incentivizing thousands of low- to moderate-income families to get in the habit of socking away a few dollars each month, with an eye toward making a college degree a reachable dream for their children,” Chiang said in a June 30 press release.

Participants in California’s matching grant program will receive a dollar-for-dollar match contribution of up to $200 in college savings.

Ensuring that children have college savings is important because even modest savings have financial and nonfinancial benefits for children and their families, said Clancy, who leads the SEED OK experiment, a large-scale study with randomly selected newborn children that is among the most important policy tests of Child Development Accounts (CDAs) in the United States.

To learn more about California’s Every Kid Counts Act, visit www.treasurer.ca.gov/scholarshare/.