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Matched savings accounts: A study of youths' perceptions of program and account design

Author(s): 
Scanlon, Edward
Burford, Andrea
Dawn, Kenneth
Project(s): 
Children's Savings Account
Publication type: 
Journal Article

This paper presents data from a qualitative study of a youth savings account program. In-depth interviews were conducted with 30 youth ages 14-19 between November 2004 and February 2005 who were participants in the SEED national demonstration project. Our findings focus on youths' perceptions of program design, including recruitment and enrollment, savings goals, direct deposit mechanisms, staff-participant interactions, financial education, and fund withdrawal process. Participants were generally positive about comfort and trust with the agency and staff, perceptions of the match structure, and the opportunity to begin the process of savings. Direct deposit, while overall viewed favorably, was seen as problematic when income streams were interrupted by seasonal employment. Both online and workshop based financial education programs were often viewed as boring and repetitive. Following the presentation of findings, our discussion centers on implications for policy and program design.

Citation: 

Scanlon, E., Buford, A., & Dawn, K. (2009). Matched savings accounts: A study of youths' perceptions of program and account design. Children and Youth Services Review, 31(6), 680-687. 

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