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California Officially Launches Nation’s Largest College Savings Program for Millions of Students and All Newborns

-Editorial

California Governor Gavin Newsom announced the launch of a new initiative that will allow parents – and kids – to get a step ahead and start saving for college.

All families of low-income public school students – 3.4 million across the state – can now access college savings accounts created in their children’s names, with seed investments of between $500 and $1,500. The CalKIDS program, launched today, invests $1.9 billion into accounts for low-income school-age children in grades 1-12 and for newborn children born on or after July 1, 2022.

“California is telling our students that we believe they’re college material – not only do we believe it, but we’ll also invest in them directly,” said Governor Newsom. “With up to $1,500, we’re transforming lives, generating college-going mindsets, and creating generational wealth for millions of Californians.”

The California Kids Investment and Development Savings Program (CalKIDS) was created by the State of California to help more children have an opportunity to save for higher education. The program, administered by the ScholarShare Investment Board, will automatically provide newborns and eligible low-income public school children in California an initial seed deposit, plus other possible financial incentives so that they can start saving money for college.

All babies born in California on or after July 1, 2022, will receive up to $100 in a college savings account. Additionally, eligible low-income public school students may qualify to receive up to $1,500 in college savings for their future. CalKIDS funds can be used at eligible educational institutions nationwide and some abroad, including community colleges, universities, and vocational and professional schools.

CalKIDS accounts can also be linked with new or existing ScholarShare 529 accounts, where friends and family can deposit funds to a child’s account.

“I am proud and excited to finally see CalKIDS in action,” said Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian. “My goal with this program was to bridge the gap between wealth inequality and the high cost of education.

CalKIDS will expand access to college through savings by providing each child born in the state of California a seed deposit in a ScholarShare 529 college savings account. Furthermore, thanks to Governor Newsom’s investment and expansion of the Program to make college more accessible to low-income California kids, additional deposits will be made for low-income first graders across the state, with supplemental deposits for foster and homeless youth. Our shared vision ensures each child across the state will have an opportunity at higher education.”

Up to $1,500 for 3.4 Million School-Age Children:

  • $500 Automatic Deposit: Eligible low-income public school students in grades 1-12.
  • $500 Additional Deposit: Eligible low-income public school students in grades 1-12 identified as a foster youth.
  • $500 Additional Deposit: Eligible low-income public school students in grades 1-12 identified as homeless.

Up to $100 for Newborn Children:

  • $25 Automatic Deposit: Every eligible child born on or after July 1, 2022.
  • $25 Additional Deposit: Those who register on the program’s online portal.
  • $50 Additional Deposit: Those who link a new or existing ScholarShare 529 account to the CalKIDS account.

Californians can begin accessing their accounts via the online portal now. In the coming months, CalKIDS will send notification letters to qualifying children and families with more information.

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