College Savings Accounts for HeadStart Families: Preliminary Results from Michigan
Trina Shanks, Associate Professor, School of Social Work
The Saving for Education, Entrepreneurship and Downpayment (SEED) initiative began in 2003 to test asset-building accounts for children and youth with the goal of providing strategic and practical lessons in how to create an inclusive CSA system. At the SEED impact assessment site in Michigan (MI-SEED), 500 Head Start families were offered Michigan 529 Educational Savings plans. The accounts were opened with an initial contribution of $800 from program funding and a possible $200 match from the State of Michigan. Any subsequent savings by the family were matched 1:1 up to $1200. Another set of similar Head Start families made up a comparison group that was not offered accounts. Most of the participating pre-school children are now old enough to graduate from high school and actually use the accounts to fund post-secondary education. This presentation will offer preliminary longitudinal data on accounts, standardized test scores, and other educational outcomes over time.