Here at College Kids, we take a holistic view to helping families navigate their financial lives and save more in their student’s College Kids account. While our children’s savings account program opens accounts for kindergarten, first, second and third graders in the City of St. Louis, we know that parent behavior is just as important as the student’s when it comes to making deposits. That is why College Kids recently partnered with LendUp to provide financial education courses for College Kids parents.

LendUp was founded with one clear, straightforward purpose: to provide anyone with a path to better financial health. Founded in 2012, LendUp’s vision for their customers is to have universal access to credit that expands over time. LendUp financial education courses are free open to the public. Each course consists of a fun, animated video (only a few minutes!), followed by a short quiz. Courses touch on key financial topics, such as credit reporting, protecting your personal information online, savings, responsible use of credit cards, and more. In addition to learning the basics of finance, families are rewarded with a $5 College Kids deposit for each course completed.

In order to understand what motivates our families to participate in financial education courses, College Kids, in partnership with LendUp, tested different email messages to let families know about the available courses. One email message tested the idea of a “fresh start” to finances and was emailed on the first of the month. A follow-up email was sent two weeks later reminding families that they could earn $5 for every course taken that would go towards their child’ future.

Overall, results of LendUp email messages and courses were successful. In a follow-up survey, one parent wrote, “I would recommend these courses to friends. They were helpful, especially for someone with limited financial experience or for individuals/families just starting out and trying to make better financial decisions.” Another mom helpfully pointed out that, “Everyone needs the information and if you already know a lot, there’s nothing wrong with a refresher course.” We couldn’t agree more!