Today was a great day for children in Rhode Island!
At a packed and inspiring event at the Community College of Rhode Island, Governor-elect Gina Raimondo and a host of community leaders, educators, and child advocates announced the expansion of the CollegeBoundBaby program, which will now provide a $100 seed deposit in the children's savings account of every child born or adopted in Rhode Island.
All parents need to do is check a box on a form provided at the hospital or through other community partners, and the account is opened with no requirement that parents deposit their own money. Given AEDI research which suggests that these assets can increase students' engagement with and attainment of education, as well as provide an asset foundation for later economic mobility, today may prove a decisive turning point in the education and financial statuses of Rhode Islanders.
We were delighted to be part of the launch and congratulate Rhode Island on other significant steps taken to make their 529 college savings plan a potent tool for children's asset building, including the lowering of the opening balance requirement for family-held accounts from $250 to $25, as well as the creation of an online gifting tool that has seen $1 million in deposits from third parties to children's accounts.
There is real momentum in states around the country, and particularly here in the Northeast. We are delighted to see AEDI research used to fuel these developments and encouraged about what such policies may mean for the future of national CSA traction.
But the real star of today's event was baby Alice, there to represent the Rhode Island children who will benefit from this investment.
Today is about them.