Children’s Savings Account Program Launched in Wyoming | News
Teton Literacy Center (TLC) is excited to share the success of the pilot launch of our Funding Futures Children’s Savings Account tool to encourage post-secondary education and savings.
Funding Futures aims to shift family and student expectations, increase academic performance and long-term TLC retention, and provide financial literacy and empowerment. The Funding Futures pilot, the first CSA program in Wyoming, is intended to address barriers to lifelong learning.
By extending college and career program efforts alongside a CSA tool, the Funding Futures pilot aligns with national research illustrating that students with a savings account are seven times more likely to attend post-secondary education than those without an account. This is true regardless of families’ income, race, or educational attainment.
The core goals of the Funding Futures program are to:
● Start early to foster students’ and families’ expectations and aspirations aiming toward postsecondary education and career training.
● Help students be career, college and post-secondary ready with a long-term approach to academic engagement and self-confidence.
● Build students’ and families’ financial potential using TLC programs and connecting with partners to offer other related services.
We launched this effort in January 2022 by offering 27 families the opportunity to open a savings account with US Bank locally and receive seed funds in a TLC omnibus 529. The families invited were currently enrolled in our Lit Lab preschool program. Families save funds in a child UTMA account through US Bank and TLC provides seed and bonus funds placed in the 529 account through Scholarshare. Initial deposits on behalf of both TLC and families were made during March of 2022.
In it’s short existence, the Funding Futures pilot program has already exhibited great success:
● 85% participation rate, compared to national averages of 35%.
● As of August 31st, 2022:
○ 87% of families had made additional deposits since opening the UTMA account for their child.
○ 78% of families have saved $100 or more, 21% have saved over $500.
○ Over $14,000 saved for post secondary success – $8,286 saved for students in 529 accounts and $6,338 saved by families in students’ UTMA account.
We are incredibly grateful to an anonymous TLC friend and donor who has provided funding for our two-year pilot phase. We also want to thank US Bank in Jackson for their tireless work with our families in opening up savings accounts as well as the 529 program Scholarshare and the account tracking program Outcome Tracker for their partnership.