College Savings Pilot Program Launches in Dallas Area

Posted on 10/28/2015

Kindergartners love money. And this is definitely an advantage in Texas since state law requires financial education to be taught to all Texas students starting in Kindergarten. I have a kindergartner this year that is constantly jumping off the bus singing loudly "a penny is worth 1, a nickel is worth 5, a dime is worth 10 and a quarter 25!" It is amazing how excited kids get when they begin learning about money. But what about their parents? As kindergarten students learn at two Dallas area elementary schools about earning income, saving money for college, reasons to open a savings account for college and how to keep track of savings as part of the state mandated financial education requirement, how do we excite and encourage the parents to help these kindergartners put their learnings into practice and start a college savings for their child? OpportunityTexas is currently trying to figure that out in our *Dollars for College* program. OpportunityTexas, a joint initiative between RAISE Texas and Center for Public Policy Priorities, is piloting *Dollars for College*, a new college savings program that teaches kindergarten students about college savings as part of the Texas mandated financial education curriculum, and offers kindergarten parents at two elementary schools the opportunity to open a college savings account. Our overall goal is to develop a platform that will allow us to expand college savings and access to college in Texas. This pilot will allow us to evaluate whether or not kindergarten parents are interested in opening a free school-based savings account, and the most effective ways to increase participation in college savings programs by testing different account incentives and marketing strategies during the evaluation period. **We are very excited about this opportunity to grow college savings in Texas, and we would like to thank our partners the Richardson Independent School District, First Convenience Bank a division of First National Bank Texas, the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, and the Texas Council on Economic Education. We would also like to thank The Child and Family Research Partnership at the University of Texas at Austin for evaluating this pilot.** We are happy to share more information so send your questions to [Lgates@raisetexas.org](Lgates@raisetexas.org). Or, for more information and specific details of the *Dollars for College* Program, visit the [program website](http://richardsond4c.com/). ![Dollars for College Bank](http://raisetexas.org/images/Dollarsforcollegebank.jpg)

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