Equipping CSA Programs

From our technology, to our investment options, and our social commitment, let us support your CSA program.

CalKIDS ensures eligible kids across California have an opportunity at higher education.

The Right Relationships

The Right Plan

The features of a ScholarShare 529 plan are especially well-suited for child development accounts over plans from credit unions or bank savings accounts because they provide investment growth potential, targeted investment options, and withdrawal restrictions.

The Right Technology

ScholarShare 529 uses VistaShare Outcome Tracker to support local governments and non-profit organizations planning to establish a CSA program and to support organizations that currently administer a citywide or regional CSA program. Outcome Tracker helps you securely reach your community, track your progress, and share your results. With Outcome Tracker, you can:

  • Import child data from your school system or other source
  • Apply incentives to select children
  • Interact with parents or guardians online
  • Report on savings results
  • Create omnibus accounts for one or more cohorts of children
  • Apply seamless integration with ScholarShare 529 accounts

The Right Partner

ScholarShare 529 is California's official college savings plan, and one of the most respected asset-building programs in the country. With over $13 billion in assets under management (as of 9/30/23), ScholarShare 529 has worked with industry professionals to manage college investments for more than twenty years. Investment decisions are overseen by the independent ScholarShare Investment Board, an agency of the state of California, and chaired by the California State Treasurer.

Powered by VistaShare Outcome Tracker to:

  • Offer systems and infrastructure for the implementation and operation of your CSA program
  • Assist with identifying target populations and facilitate outreach and coordination
  • Provide guidance on program eligibility, terms, and conditions
  • Coordinate engagement with VistaShare to secure licensing agreement to use Outcome Tracker
  • Facilitate the opening and funding of ScholarShare 529 entity-owned accounts

To learn more about launching a CSA program in partnership with ScholarShare 529, email scholarshare@treasurer.ca.gov or call 916-651-6380.

The Right Partnerships

The CSA Grant Program was enacted in the 2019-20 State Budget to support local governments and organizations in operating a regionally-based CSA program. Administered by the California Student Aid Commission, the program allocated $10 million in one-time General Fund dollars to new and existing local CSA programs statewide, including eight that currently partner with ScholarShare 529 to help families save for higher education.

City of West Sacramento

City of West Sacramento

The West Sacramento Home Run launched in 2017 as an innovative cradle to career initiative in partnership between the City of West Sacramento, the Washington Unified School District, Sacramento City College and the West Sacramento Chamber of Commerce. This partnership breaks down barriers to post-secondary education and helps students prepare for careers through high-quality preschool, college savings incentives, high school internships, digital badges, fee-free community college and scholarships. College savings incentives for qualified families include a $50 seed deposit and up to $180 in matching funds, as well as referral bonuses, reading and financial literacy incentives, and special promotions like the annual 529 Day raffle.

The College Savings Account program makes college more accessible to all students, regardless of background or life circumstances, and puts every West Sacramento child on a pathway to enroll and complete postsecondary education, prepare for the career they want and realize their dreams.

-West Sacramento Mayor Martha Guerrero

Learn more about West Sacramento Home Run.

Santa Cruz Community Ventures

Santa Cruz Community Ventures

Santa Cruz Semillitas automatically provides Santa Cruz County newborns a ScholarShare 529 account that includes an initial "seed" gift of up to $50. Funds can be used towards the child's future college or vocational education expenses. Administered by Santa Cruz Community Ventures, the program works with local health, education, and financial partners to support a child's well-being and development. The program aims to provide additional gifts as the child reaches health and educational goals to ensure that each child has $500 by age five.

[Santa Cruz Semillitas] is a commitment to our kids. We are coming together to invest in our children's well-being and the future of our county. We want to help families keep their kids happy and healthy. We want to help our kids reach their goals in life. Together we can help our children reach their dreams.

-Maria Cadenas, Executive Director, Santa Cruz Community Ventures

Learn more about Santa Cruz Semillitas.

Glendale Unified School District

Glendale Unified School District

Glendale Unified School District began its College Success Fund CSA program in 2020. Each of the district's first graders automatically receives a $50 deposit into a CSA account with ScholarShare 529 for their future post-secondary expenses. The program was created to help children and families in the region build inspirational goals and keep children focused on the importance of higher education.

I'm proud of our school district's forward-thinking approach and implementation of Child Savings Accounts intervention. It inspires, encourages, and propels our kids toward their highest achievements. Partnering with ScholarShare 529 and using the 529 platform has opened doors for our families.

-Nayiri Nahabedian, MSW, Glendale Unified School District Board Member and Faculty, School of Social Work, California State University Los Angeles.

Learn more about College Success Fund.

Sonoma County First 5

Sonoma County First 5

The Sonoma County First 5 Futures Child Savings Account Program started in 2021 to provide free savings accounts to eligible children from age 2 up to their 5th birthday. First 5 Sonoma County will make an initial deposit of $200 for every eligible child. Families participating in this program have the opportunity to receive up to an additional $300 in incentives.

We are thrilled to receive this funding from the California Student Aid Commission to launch the First 5 Futures program in Sonoma County. Establishing CSAs will be a gamechanger for so many families that struggle just to make ends meet by helping parents to feel more hopeful about their child's future opportunities for education. Those higher expectations lead not only to a greater likelihood that their child will be ready to succeed when they enter kindergarten, but a trajectory that includes high school graduation and college. CSAs are a powerful tool for disrupting intergenerational poverty and ensuring economic success for all.

-Angie Dillon-Shore, Executive Director, Sonoma County First 5

Learn more about the Sonoma County First 5 Futures Child Savings Account Program.

San Joaquin A+ Education equals Opportunity

San Joaquin A+

The CSA+ program launched in 2021 to help San Joaquin County families overcome barriers to achieving postsecondary opportunities. The program enrolls 3 and 4-year-old children participating in a state-subsidized or federally funded preschool program in San Joaquin County and provides them with a seed amount of $750, along with the opportunity to receive additional financial incentives. San Joaquin A+ has partnered with San Joaquin County Office of Education, early childhood education providers, and school districts within San Joaquin County to turn its CSA program into one of the largest regionally-based CSA programs in the country.

Beyond the ability to establish child’s savings accounts for families that may not otherwise have this opportunity, we are most thrilled about the grand opportunity to engage families with their child’s educational roadmap and financial literacy early on. Bringing CSAs to San Joaquin County with the support of our many partners is a unique and tangible way to show our children that the entire community is invested their bright futures. College is a reality. College is accessible.

-Tony Gladney, CSA Program Director

Learn more about the San Joaquin A+ CSA+ Program.

Office of Financial Empowerment - City and County of San Francisco

City and County of San Francisco

Kindergarten to College (K2C) automatically opens a college savings account for every student in the San Francisco Unified School District. Launched in 2011 by the City and County of San Francisco, K2C provides each student with $50, along with additional money, to encourage families to save for college. Students, families and other supporters contribute to the accounts throughout the K-12 years. As the accounts grow in value, K2C supports families in transferring their K2C account balances into ScholarShare 529 accounts.

K2C is the oldest and largest municipally led program of its kind in the country. It makes the pathway to college easier for students from the very first day of school. San Francisco's collaboration with ScholarShare helps students and their families maximize college savings.

-San Francisco Treasurer José Cisneros

Learn more about the K2C Program.

Teton Literacy Center

Teton Literacy Center

Teton Literacy Center (TLC) created Funding Futures, a two-year pilot CSA project designed to expand opportunities for its children and to help its families save for the future. Funding Futures will open individual savings accounts for preschool families, along with holding an omnibus ScholarShare 529 account funded by initial seed deposits, savings matches and benchmark bonuses. TLC integrates its CSA project into existing academic support, parent programming, and other services to maximize opportunities for its families. Funding Futures is also used as a tool for financial literacy.

The stated vision of the Teton Literacy Center has been a 100% literate community. Our Funding Futures project (incorporating the College Savings Account concept) provides the means for all students, regardless of family background or economic status, to achieve higher education goals. The aspirational goals for the young students and their families created by this program will encourage their continued education and a more satisfying and productive career.

-W.J. Best, Teton Literacy Center Board President

Learn more about the Funding Futures Program.

Corazón Healdsburg

Corazón Healdsburg

Corazón Healdsburg's Kinder2College Fund (K2C) is a college savings initiative launched in 2018 by members of the Healdsburg Community in partnership with Corazón Healdsburg. Corazón Healdsburg's K2C Fund provides up to $500 in college savings accounts to each eligible student from kindergarten to third grade in the Healdsburg, Geyserville, Alexander Valley, West Side, and Cloverdale School Districts. K2C strives to create a college-going culture mindset among families to invest early by opening college savings accounts and to develop an awareness of post-secondary education opportunities and careers through educational parent workshops and hands-on student engagement.

Working together with families to build a college-going culture for their children is the ultimate investment for our community. Cultivating and strengthening a college-going mindset with parents is critical to the child's educational foundation and support system to achieve academic success. Funding college savings accounts create greater opportunities and access for children to explore their post-secondary education and career goals.

-Marcy Flores, Director of Academic Development, Corazón Healdsburg

Learn more about K2C.

More to explore

  • Read the research

    Access research that substantiates the effectiveness of child savings accounts.

    Read more
  • CalKIDS

    CalKIDS, the nation's largest CSA program, jumpstarts college savings for over 3.4 million children statewide.

    Learn about CalKIDS
  • College Promise Grant

    For eligible California residents, the California Community Colleges Promise Grant waves enrollment fees.

    Get the details