Governor Newsom’s Universal College Savings Account Program will open an account for every Californian born after July 1, 2022 and students who need the most support will be eligible for deposits over $1,500
San Francisco’s Kindergarten to College (K2C) program, founded in 2011 by San Francisco Mayor Newsom and Treasurer José Cisneros, automatically opens a savings account with $50 of public funds for each child entering kindergarten in San Francisco public schools, putting students on a path to college on their first day of school. There are nearly 50,000 K2C participants who, to date, have saved $11 million for post-secondary education.
“College savings accounts are transformative opportunities for millions of children to succeed in college,” Governor Newsom said. “The program we created here in San Francisco has invested $11 million in the future of thousands of children, and we’re delivering on that promise of success across the state – by creating a universal savings account program university so that every California student can be ready for college.”
Governor Highlights Statewide College Savings Program at San Francisco K2C Program Celebration
Last year, Governor Newsom spearheaded the creation of two new college savings account programs for Californians across the state, including a universal college savings account program for future generations in the state. :
- Universal College Savings Accounts for Californians born after July 1, 2022. All newborns born in California after July 1, 2022 will have accounts opened for them – universally. This will include a basic deposit of $25, with up to an additional $75 in incentives for registering an online account, etc. Once low-income children in this cohort reach first grade in public school, the intention is to make basic and additional deposits into these accounts. , eliminating the need to create new accounts for first-year students each year.
- More than $1,500 for students who need it most. In July, public school students in 2021-22 school years 1-12 will have accounts opened in their names based on the following criteria: low-income students will receive a base deposit of $500, with additional deposits of $500 each for homeless and foster youth, for a total amount of up to $1,500 (ie one low-income homeless foster youth). Each year thereafter, all eligible public school first graders will be opened accounts under the same criteria. The first set of accounts is expected to be opened for about 3.5 million students this year, with about 300,000 students each year thereafter.
All families participating in the CalKIDS program will be encouraged to open and link their own ScholarShare 529 college savings account to maximize their savings. As the CalKIDS program unfolds, the state encourages assistance from public and private leaders to market this program to families in all 58 counties. The accounts will be tax-efficient, enable investment growth potential for young participants, and provide capital preservation to accommodate high school students who will soon be withdrawing funds. The program will be accessible regardless of immigration status.
San Francisco’s K2C program was the first universal children’s savings account program in the country and this week celebrates its 10and anniversary in 2021 with the release of a new video and a new report. This program has been replicated across the country, with 123 active college savings account programs reaching more than 1.2 million children in 39 states, including municipal programs in Oakland, Los Angeles and New York, and statewide programs in Pennsylvania, Indiana and Maine.
“We started K2C so that every student in our public schools knows they have a future worth saving,” said San Francisco Treasurer Jose Cisneros. “More important than the money itself, $11 million in savings represents millions of conversations our families have with their children about going to college.”