In our modern economy, a college degree is still the primary way that children can become self-sufficient and contributing adults. Unfortunately for many students — especially in low-income areas — lack of sufficient savings for college has been a barrier to higher educational attainment, limiting opportunities for future economic success.
Treasurer Jones is proposing to provide each child entering Kindergarten in a public school in St. Louis a seed account with $50, which they would have the chance to build upon via financial incentives for good grades, perfect attendance, and family participation in a financial wellness program. Studies show that kids with savings accounts are more likely to enroll in and graduate from college, and therefore become meaningful contributors to the economy. Children’s Savings Accounts (CSAs) also have the capacity to change an entire family’s mental, emotional, and economic health with spillover effects changing the family’s spending and saving patterns.