Ninety-seven percent of kindergartners across the city have access to a New York City Scholarship Account -- a type of college savings plan with an initial investment of $100 provided by the city in hopes of giving students an avenue to pay for college or career training, and closing the generational wage gap, the mayor announced Wednesday.
“We need tangible and practical solutions to reduce the racial wealth gap, even more now as we emerge from the pandemic,” Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement. “The Save for College Program can reduce the amount that students and families have to borrow in student loans, combatting the student debt crisis that has disproportionately impacted students of color."
A total of $6.5 million has been invested this year in 65,300 NYC Scholarship Accounts for students participating in the NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program. This program is a public-private-community partnership designed to make college and career training more accessible to public school students, regardless of income or immigration status.
According to the city, research found that children with a college savings account of just $1 to $500 are three times more likely to go to college and more than four times more likely to graduate.
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With that in mind, this school year kicked off the program in which kindergarteners enrolled in one of the city's public school, including participating charter schools, will automatically receive a scholarship account invested with $100 from NYC Kids RISE, unless their families choose to not participate in the program.
Families can activate their kindergarteners’ NYC Scholarship Accounts from the Save for College Program.
“Today is a historic day — we are taking a giant step towards making college and careers more accessible to our students," New York City Department of Education Chancellor David C. Banks said in a statement. "The money being deposited in accounts today plant the seeds that will instill a sense of financial literacy and open doors for our young people for decades to come.”