An aerial map of policy momentum around Children’s Savings Accounts would show a cluster of activity in the New England region, with statewide accounts in Maine, policy development in Rhode Island and Connecticut, legislation exploring CSAs in Vermont, interest in CSAs in New Hampshire and in the City of Boston, and strong leadership in the Boston Fed, including the creation of the first regional CSA consortium in the United States. A recent article by Anthony Poore of the Boston Fed and Colleen Quint of Maine outlined these developments, spurred in no small part by their efforts. We couldn’t be more excited to be part of these conversations. We hope to contribute to the CSA efforts in New England and also to be part of New England’s catalyzing force on the CSA field around the country. If you haven’t looked to New England for leadership on CSAs, you should. Maine’s Alfond Challenge recently transitioned from an opt-in account structure to automatic enrollment for every child in Maine, a policy escalation that provides a tremendously valuable opportunity to examine the effects of providing every child in a jurisdiction with a CSA, capitalized with an initial deposit. Rhode Island’s efforts explore potential roles for financial institutions as full CSA partners, suggesting possible paths for scaling CSAs within the 529 structure. And the political processes pursued in Vermont, Connecticut, and New Hampshire are important case studies, with implications for the partnerships to coalesce and the arguments to use elsewhere, as well. But Boston is more than just a convenient base from which to get close to this CSA activity. In the Boston Fed, we have what the Children’s Savings Account field perhaps needs most—real champions, committed to learning more about how CSAs work and tirelessly sharing this information, working strategically and relentlessly to get potentially life-changing savings accounts to as many children as possible. We are thrilled about this new and development relationship, and we look forward to what it will generate.
Today’s student loan system is in place because of a political compromise, and growing discontent with student debt may signal that this arrangement has run its course. While there are resources and organizations in place to help those struggling with debt, the time has come to consider a new direction for financial aid, William Elliott III and Melinda Lewis argue in “Student Debt: A Reference Handbook.”
- Save a Little, Gain a Lot: Cultivating College-Saver Identities By Melinda Lewis
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- Does Community Access to Alternate Financial Services Relate to Individual's Use of Service by Friedline and Kepple
- Do Community Characteristics Relate to Young Adult College Students’ Credit Card Debt? by Friedline, West, Rosell, Serido and Shim
- The Potential for Savings Accounts to Protect Young Adult Households from Unsecured Debt by Friedline and Freeman
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- Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
- 44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
- Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
- 23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times