Friday, November 30, 2012 at 3:39 PM
Cuyahoga County plans to open savings accounts in the name of all kindergarteners in the county to help them start saving for college.
Starting next year, Cuyahoga County plans to put $100 into savings accounts for all of its kindergarteners. It will be the biggest college-savings account program of its kind in the country.
The announcement came at the annual Invest in Children conference, held earlier today.
The program will cover about 15,000 children in the county, costing an estimated $1.5 million for the first year.
[audio href="http://audio2.ideastream.org/statenews/2010/1130_kindergarten_savings.wav" title="Cuyahoga County Hopes to Start Savings Accounts for All Kindergarten Students"]The county hopes to set aside $100 for each student.[/audio]
Funding for the program will come from the county, through dollars saved when the county government was consolidated two years ago. Part of that consolidation was a mandate to create a countywide scholarship system.
Cuyahoga county executive Ed Fitzgerald acknowledges $100 won’t cover college tuition.
But, he says, "it has the potential anyway of just changing the expectations of children.”
Fitzgerald says he hopes parents, schools and community organizations will add to the savings accounts over time.
"It’s a very tangible way for them to envision what their future could be," he says.