New York Giants’ football star Justin Tuck joined the Citi Foundation and the 1:1 Fund yesterday at the Children’s Aid College Prep to launch a new initiative helping students save and plan for college. A select group of students from AAMI and 100 first and second graders from the charter school are the first group of students to participate.
The program is called CAS College Savers, and all students who sign up for a CAS College Savers account will receive a $100 seed deposit, dollar-for-dollar matched contributions of up to $100 during the first school year and additional matches and incentives as families contribute to the accounts. Initial funding for the program is provided through a $100,000 grant from Tuck’s R.U.S.H. for Literacy, a philanthropic initiative established in 2008 by Tuck and his wife Lauran.
The Citi Foundation has supported this initiative by creating a comprehensive program that includes a college readiness curriculum, financial education for children and parents and a matched student savings plan. The 1:1 Fund, a project of the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), allows individual donors to make contributions to the CAS College Savers Program through an online marketplace, which are matched by CFED.
In the United States, graduating from college is the most effective strategy to break intergenerational cycles of poverty. However, less than 10% of students from low-income families graduate from college by their mid-20s. Research demonstrates that dedicated children’s savings accounts–combined with financial education–significantly improve a student’s ability to save for, enroll in and complete college.
The CAS College Savers program joins a growing list of similar efforts in San Francisco, Nevada, Ohio and elsewhere, empowering disadvantaged students to achieve college graduation.