NYC Save for College Program Coming to Bronx Public and Charter Schools – Bronx Times
NYC Kids RISE Save for college programa first-of-its-kind universal program to create college savings accounts for every New York public school kindergarten, has now extended its reach to the Bronx.
In September 2021, the de Blasio administration launched the citywide expansion of the Save for College program as part of an economic justice plan to address the persistent racial wealth gap in New York City. . This school year, every kindergarten enrolled in a New York City public school and participating charter schools — including those here in the Bronx — will have access to a NYC scholarship account invested in a savings plan. 529 academic, with a $100 start-up deposit and up to $200 in first rewards. The program is designed to provide families, schools and communities with a way to work together to invest in the future of their children, regardless of family income or immigration status. Scholarship funds are invested in the NY 529 Direct Plan, a type of tax-advantaged account specifically designed to help people save for higher education.
The initiative began in the fall of 2017, when the Save for College program launched a three-year pilot project in Queens School District 30 in partnership with the New York City Department of Education. During the 2021-2022 school year, parents were made aware of the program in the fall and winter. As a result, more than 14,000 kindergarten students at nearly 230 Bronx public elementary schools will be able to activate and view their NYC scholarship accounts later this spring.
“Every child will graduate with a real financial asset and the support of their community,” said Debra-Ellen Glickstein, executive director of NYC Kids RISE. “The premise of this effort is simply that by having a small dollar amount, a child is more likely to go on to higher education.”
According to a study published by the Institute for Higher Education Policy and Prosperity Nowa child from a low-income household with a college savings account between $1 and $500 is three times more likely to go to college and more than four times more likely to graduate than a child who has none.
The program has become very popular in District 30 and the hope is that families across the city will follow suit, Glickstein said. To date, more than 13,000 students in grades one through four, representing 96% of all students in those grades at participating schools within the school district’s 30 communities, are enrolled and have scholarship accounts. NYC studies invested in a 529 plan.
All 39 elementary schools in the pilot district are integrating the Save for College program into their activities with students and families to improve college and career readiness from the earliest days of kindergarten.
“What we do is create an opportunity and a message for every child,” Glickstein said. “It’s about starting early and knowing you’ll get something. It’s about the little dollars that add up over time.
Based on the success in Queens, Glickstein knows families in other boroughs will take advantage of this opportunity.
“We’re so proud of the work that’s been done with Queens and all the parents, and we’re excited to come to the Bronx and the whole city,” she said.
One person who knows the program first hand is Queens resident Astoria Nadia Landy. Landy, a member of the Astoria Houses Resident Association, helped create the Astoria Houses Community Scholarship, a community campaign to raise $1,000 for every kindergarten, first, second and third grader who lives in Astoria Houses and attends a pilot school.
“I thought that was amazing to have because I’m a college grad who has over $10,000 in student bills,” Landy said. “If they start now, they have something to build on. I think the reason they started this is because parents and kids see college as an option.
Contact Jason Cohen at [email protected] or (718) 260-4598. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes.