The end of summer means it’s time for the annual migration of students back to school. Laden with heavy book bags and big dreams, these young scholars are taking the first steps on a path that may lead to college, a career, and a fulfilling life.
But not for everyone. Too many students face overwhelming obstacles on the path to college—especially low-income students and those who would be the first in their families to get to college. The reasons are numerous and complex. Yet a simple tool can make a world of difference: savings.
Research has shown that high school students who have a college savings account in their name are seven times more likely to get to college. Even savings of less than $500 boosts chances of college entry and success for low-income students. By validating the goal of college attendance, a college savings account improves a student's confidence in his or her ability to achieve this aim.
And the stakes have never been higher. A student in California with a college degree will earn $1,340,000 more over a lifetime than a peer with only a high school diploma.
Opportunity Fund has seen first-hand the impact that small savings deposits can have in helping students achieve big dreams. To date, we have helped almost 2,000 students and their families set aside savings for college while building a life-long savings habit.
As a new year of classes gets underway, we look forward to helping hundreds more aspiring students save their way to their college dreams.
Research has shown that high school students who have a college savings account in their name are seven times more likely to get to college. – “The Role of Savings and Wealth in Reducing "Wilt" between Expectations and College Attendance,” Center for Social Development (page 2).
Even savings of less than $500 boosts chances of college entry and success for low-income students. – Building Expectations, Delivering Results: Asset-Based Financial Aid and the Future of Higher Education,” Assets & Education Initiative (page 5).