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Designing for success: Children’s savings account policy features to drive educational outcomes (Chapter 6 – Brief 1)

Author(s): 
Lewis, Melinda
Cramer, Reid
Black, Rachel
Project(s): 
Children's Savings Account
Publication type: 
Brief

CSAs should include every child of a given age—ideally, at birth, although there are certainly reasons to tie additional incentives to accomplishment of specific academic or life milestones. Including everyone in CSAs underscores the stake we all have in each other’s prosperity, which is particularly true when it comes to global competitiveness and the educational outcomes CSAs can deliver. Universality also means inclusiveness, or meaningful access to asset accumulation by low-income individuals who otherwise may not have truly equitable opportunities.1 This speaks to the need for features such as automatic enrollment (opt-out), concerted outreach and education strategies, and special incentives for lower-income households, in order to avoid a ‘universal’ CDA policy turning into another asset development investment that disproportionately benefits those already advantaged.

Read the brief

Citation: 

Lewis, M., Elliott, W., Cramer, R. and Black, R. (2013). Designing for success: Children’s savings account policy features to drive educational outcomes (Chapter 6 – Brief 1). In W. Elliott (Ed.), Giving children a financial stake in college: Are CSAs a way to help maximize financial aid dollars? (Biannual Report on the Assets and Education Field). Lawrence, KS: Assets and Education Initiative.

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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.”

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