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Education

Starting In First Grade All LAUSD Students Will Now Get A College Savings Account

A small child works at his desk with paper and crayons. He wears a blue and orange mask. The desks in the room are spaced several feet apart.
LAUSD ushered in the largest children's college savings fund in the country after expanding its program to all first graders.
(Kyle Stokes
/
LAist)
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The Opportunity L.A. program has expanded to include all first graders enrolled at LAUSD schools after launching last year at select high-need schools.

Students are automatically enrolled in the free program, which gives them a college savings account with a $50 dollar seed deposit. Funds can be used for expenses such as tuition, on-campus housing, and books. It can also be used for college applications and testing fees.

Today the program opened 44,363 accounts on behalf of all LAUSD first-graders, making it the largest Universal Children’s Savings Account Program in the United States.

L.A. County Supervisor Holly Michell says too many kids "who have the grades and desire to go to college" don't see a pathway due to financial constraints.

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"It's an issue of equity, giving everyone the opportunity to start out with an account with the same amount of dollars in it, that they can then take it and go take it as far as they can," Mitchell said.

The program is a collaborative effort between LAUSD, L.A. County, and the City of L.A. The initial round jumpstarted in Spring 2021 with select schools and created 35,000 savings accounts for first graders.

This time around, all students will have access to an account regardless of their socioeconomic or immigration status.

“This program will help even the playing field for those most in need so that pursuing post-secondary education is within reach for more children regardless of how much their family earns,” says Mitchell.

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The city is also matching up to $25 for families who make a deposit of at least $5 during tax season into their student's account and file taxes through Free Tax Prep Los Angeles.

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