(This is a guest post by Ellen O’Neill, College Kids Coordinator) 

This week, the Treasurer’s Office had the distinct pleasure of hosting a working group from Flint, Michigan, tasked with designing and implementing a children’s savings account program for their region. The group, which included representatives from the Flint Community Foundation and school district, made the trip to learn about College Kids, our children’s savings account program.

The Flint working group spent the better part of two hours learning about the day to day operations of College Kids and the intricacies of the program structure. We discussed long-term goals, successes, and challenges. The group also had the opportunity to speak with important College Kids community partners.

Children’s savings accounts (CSAs), are not unique to St. Louis. In fact, many cities including San Francisco, Oakland, and Lansing, Michigan, have municipal CSA programs.  While each program is structured to fit unique local needs and priorities, there are basic tenants of CSA programs, including a seed deposit when the account is opened and some form of incentive to help families grow their accounts.

As one of the oldest and largest CSA programs in the country, the College Kids team is frequently asked to advise as other cities design their programs. We have also worked closely with St. Paul, Milwaukee, and Chicago as they develop and implement CSA programs.

Not only is College Kids working to ensure that St. Louis kids have access to post-secondary education, we are sharing our knowledge and resources with other regions so that theirs may have the same.