New Report Calls for Universal CSA Program in Illinois

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Heartland Alliance's new report indicates that a Universal Children’s Savings Account (CSA) program can help families save for college and may significantly reduce the racial wealth gap in Illinois.

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“Making saving easier for groups who have been historically marginalized could significantly reduce the racial wealth gap in Illinois.” — Katie Buitrago, IMPACT Director

New research released by Heartland Alliance’s Social IMPACT Research Center indicate that a Universal Children’s Savings Account (CSA) program can help families save for college and may significantly reduce the racial wealth gap in Illinois. CSA programs are designed to open accounts for children at birth to save for post-secondary education. Expanding access to higher education is critical: it is expected that, by 2020, 65 percent of jobs in the U.S. will require post-secondary education, while white people are 1.7 to 2.6 times more likely to complete a four-year degree than black and Latino people.

The report, Building Brighter Futures: Children's Savings Accounts in Illinois, examines the state’s 529 college savings program, Bright Start, and finds that it is underutilized by those who could benefit most. Strengthening Bright Start by creating a universal CSA program—a 529 savings account for every child—would have a powerful impact on Illinois’s children by dramatically increasing access to higher education. CSAs also support early childhood development, increased college completion rates, strengthen families’ financial capability, and have a long-term impact on the state’s economy.

Read the full report here: http://bit.ly/CSAsinIL

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Amber Cason
Heartland Alliance
+1 (312) 870-4960
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