ED to Launch College Savings Account Test Project
The U.S. Department of Education plans to launch the College Savings Account Research Demonstration Project to determine if dedicated savings for college will increase a student's likelihood of college attendance.
The test project will allot $8.7 million to establish and fund college savings accounts for 10,000 students in the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness Undergraduate Program (GEAR UP) program, a federal college readiness and access program. The Department will analyze how students who receive the college savings accounts compare to a control group.
Education Undersecretary Martha Kanter and Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA) joined a panel discussion Thursday at the New America Foundation's forum on Financing College Access to discuss the project and share ideas to improve college access and financial preparedness.
"We want to build on the evidence," Kanter said. "Couple that with Pell Grants. Couple that with the restoration of state aid, especially to public institutions, and couple that with philanthropy and other means so that students can really put a financial package together."
As part of the college savings project, each student will receive $200 in seed funding to start the account and will have the opportunity to earn an extra $10 per month in a dollar-for-dollar savings match program over the next four years. Savings will be available for students to use for educational expenses upon enrolling in an institution of higher education.
Information about the application process is available on the Department’s website.