The Pflugerville Independent School District (PfISD) is partnering with A+ Federal Credit Union (A+ FCU) and OpportunityTexas to bring Dollars for College, a financial education and college savings pilot program for fourth grade students, to Brookhollow, Pflugerville, and Wieland Elementary Schools this semester. Tied to Texas’ mandated financial education curriculum, Dollars for College helps students build financial skills by teaching them about college and saving for college.
Fourth graders in the pilot schools are being given the opportunity to open a youth membership account at A+ FCU. These students will receive $25 deposited into their account when they open it and will have the opportunity to earn a dollar-for-dollar match of up to $50 on deposits they make into the account this school year to jump-start their college savings. They will also learn about college and savings through the four program lessons, which were developed by the Texas Council on Economic Education. They include:
- Earning income
- What it means to save money for college
- How and why to open a savings account for college, and
- How to keep track of savings
The ultimate goals of Dollars for College are to teach children about saving and about the importance of continuing his or her education. When kids have money set aside for their future, the possibility of going to college feels more real for both students and parents.
OpportunityTexas, a partnership between the Center for Public Policy Priorities and RAISE Texas, successfully launched a previous pilot program in the Richardson Independent School District last fall. While both the Richardson and Pflugerville programs seek to measure parents’ interest in opening a college savings account as part of their child’s school curriculum, the two programs have different research goals. The Richardson pilot was conducted amongst Kindergarteners to understand which college savings marketing and outreach strategies are most effective in getting parents to open an account. The Pflugerville pilot, on the other hand, attempts to assess the effects of offering a college savings account on students’ knowledge of and attitude about college and saving.
To learn more about Dollars for College, check out the Dollars for College website.
To receive updates about OpportunityTexas’ children’s savings work or if you are interested in starting a college savings program in your community contact Laura Rosen, OpportunityTexas Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CPPP Communications Intern Mandy McClendon and OpportunityTexas Coordinator Laura Rosen contributed to this post.