YEO Policy Books 2015 Policy Book - Page 31

Universal Children’s Savings Account Program Origin: Vermont State Legislature Bill Name/Number: H 448 Link: Click here Summary: Passed in May 2015, this act will open a savings account for every baby born in Vermont - $250 will be deposited for those who are not low-income and $500 for those who meet federal poverty guidelines. The savings accounts will be funded through philanthropic contributions from foundations and fundraising efforts – not from state taxes. Talking Points & Important Information: • Children who have even small savings accounts for college are 7 times more likely to attend and graduate from college than those who have no savings account. • Universal savings plans and automatic deposits at birth enshrines engages parents and children from the beginning and enshrines the value of pursuing higher education. In fact, college enrollment among low-income students has risen though significantly lags enrollment by middle- and high-income students. In 2012, about 51 percent of recent low-income high school graduates and equivalency holders were enrolled in college, while enrollment among middle- and high-income students had risen to nearly 65 percent and 81 percent. • Vermont’s current program is modeled after Maine’s, the first state in the union to offer a universal savings plan to its youngest residents. For more information on universal and automatic deposits at birth, click on this report from the Washington University in St. Louis. 2015 POLICY BOOK STATE INTRO LEVEL PAGE 31