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Dollars for College

September, 16 2019

CFT partners to kick-start college savings for local students

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When children know they have money set aside for college or postsecondary education, they embrace graduation as an expectation. Children who grow up with college savings accounts are three times more likely to go to college and four times more likely to graduate, compared to those who don’t have college savings.  CFT, Educate Texas and the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas partnered to launch Dollars for College, a program that provides low-income families with a safe, trusted, easy-to-access and low-cost opportunity to start building savings. The partners were thrilled to collaborate with Lancaster ISD as the first school district  in North Texas to introduce Dollars for College, with  plans to expand to Richardson ISD in fall 2019. Both of the initial districts were chosen because of their prior success as STEM districts with CFT’s Educate Texas and Texas Instruments Foundation

Dollars for College scholarship accounts are opened for every participating kindergarten student within Lancaster ISD. These accounts are seeded with $50 and linked to students’ individual 529 accounts, which are set up by parents. Families and students have opportunities to earn incentives and matching funds to grow their savings, and when each child is ready to pursue postsecondary education or training, they may access funds from these accounts to do so. The W.W. Caruth, Jr. Fund at CFT, The Meadows Foundation, The Boone Family Foundation, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, Wells Fargo and Dallas Social Venture Partners, along with Lancaster ISD, generously provided funding. Lancaster ISD received the H-E-B Academic Excellence Award in 2018 and invested the $50,000 award in the initial Dollars for College program to support accounts for every current LISD kindergarten student. 

To date, over 90% of LISD kindergarten families have agreed to enroll their students in Dollars for College,  with over 200 opening parent accounts. Starting college  savings from an early age can help change the trajectory for these students, their families and the entire community, helping more students access and complete postsecondary education in the years to come. We look forward to sharing in the success of the first class of Dollars for College kindergarteners – and seeing the program expand in the years to come. Learn more at CFTexas.org/DollarsforCollege. 

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Lancaster ISD held a Mardi Gras-themed kindergarten prom for students in celebration of Dollars for College.

 
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