Why Children's Savings Accounts

The Challenge

The high cost of college makes many students feel like higher education is out of reach. Children from low-income households in particular have lower expectations of completing college than their higher-income peers — and those expectations mean many low-income students never enroll.

Paying for college is a struggle. Fully 97% of college students from low-income families still have unmet financial needs even after receiving financial aid, and nearly half of young people without a four-year degree report that they're not in school because they can't afford college.

Too many young people miss out on a college education. Less than one in 10 young adults from low-income households have a bachelor's degree by their mid-twenties.

Children's Savings Accounts (CSAs) can help by raising kids' educational expectations and enabling them to build college savings.

What Are CSAs?

Children's Savings Accounts (CSAs) are long-term savings or investment accounts that provide incentives to help children (ages 0-18) — especially low-income children — build dedicated savings for post-secondary education. Here's how they work:

Learn more about program examples

What Impact Do CSAs Have?

CSAs also have other profound effects on children and their families, including improving children’s socio-emotional development, increasing parents’ expectations for their children’s educational attainment and reducing symptoms of maternal depression in mothers whose children have a CSA.

Explore the research on CSAs

A Growing Movement

In just the past few years, CSAs have grown tremendously, with a variety of statewide, municipal and private programs serving more than 457,000 children in 34 states.

The Campaign for Every Kid’s Future is working to bring CSAs to more children across the country.