Beneficial State Bank received Promontory Empowerment Award to initiate a Kindergarten to College Savings Program in Oakland, CA.

Oakland, California (PRWEB) October 30, 2015

Beneficial State Bank received Promontory Empowerment Award this week to initiate a Kindergarten to College Savings Program in Oakland, CA. Beneficial State Bank, in partnership with the City of Oakland, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), and prominent Bay Area nonprofit and philanthropic organizations like the Walter and Elise Haas Fund, East Bay Community Foundation and East Bay College Fund, will provide and seed fund educational savings accounts for Oakland students. The Kindergarten to College Savings Program will be part of the City of Oakland’s broader College Bound Oakland initiative to help students and their families to save money for education, set expectations for college graduation, and put children on the path towards financial stability and economic opportunity.

Low-income children with just $500 or less in college savings are three times more likely to enroll in college and four times more likely to graduate than their peers who lack savings accounts. Across the country, Children’s Savings Accounts (CSAs) are being investigated as a way to break the cycle of poverty.

“In addition to boosting the expectation of going to and completing college, accelerated savings like the IDA increase the resources available to a student to make that dream come true. And as a college degree expands expected life time earnings on average by $500,000, encouraging and enabling higher education is a critical component of a vibrant local community, economic justice as well as national competitiveness,” says Kat Taylor, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Beneficial State Bank. “We are committed to co-creating the savings product and the savings match necessary to extend this opportunity to all Oakland school children over time."

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With only 60% of Oakland students graduating from high school and less than half of that subset enrolling in college, there is a critical need to develop a large-scale joint initiative to increase Oakland students’ access to higher education. Beneficial State projects an initial pool of 250 accounts for Oakland kindergarteners (which represent 6.3% of the approximately 3,970 kindergartners in the Oakland Unified School District class of 2016-17, based on current enrollment). This pilot will allow Beneficial State to gain critical insights in order to expand successful programs in additional markets.

With the College Bound Oakland initiative that the Oakland Mayor’s Office is developing to provide financial savings, scholarships, mentoring, and education to Oakland children and their families, this project recognizes the promise of Oakland students and will offer kindergarteners educational savings accounts with funding rewards to incentivize saving.

About Beneficial State Bank
Beneficial State Bank is an FDIC-insured Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and certified B Corporation that serves businesses, nonprofits, and individuals. Beneficial State answers to a triple bottom-line measuring its financial, social, and environmental impact to meet the needs of its communities. Beneficial State has a unique ownership structure-- its profits can only be distributed to Beneficial State Foundation to support our communities and the environment. The bank is headquartered in Oakland, California with branches in Seattle, Washington, Portland, Oregon and loan production offices in Sacramento and Santa Rosa, California.

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