What Happens When Kids Are Given Bank Accounts, Like Pennsylvania Does for All Newborns and Adoptees?

In 2011, a San Francisco program targeting low-income families put $50 deposits into 600 children’s bank accounts. Now, 12 years later, members of that cohort have an average savings balance of $1,422, which is about 28 times that initial deposit, the Wall Street Journal reports. The program has a dual purpose: to teach smart financial habits and serve as a start to college savings. And so far, it’s been replicated in 39 states due to its success, including Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania, ALL children born in 2019 and after to PA residents, including children who are adopted, have a Keystone Scholars account in their name with $100 for postsecondary education expenses. The commonwealth’s universal rollout to approximately 140,000 children each year makes Keystone Scholars the largest such program in the country to date. While the $100 is available to all eligible families, the Treasury advises parents to register their child for the program so that they can claim the funding.

Visit the Keystone Scholars website for more information on the program, including a video on how to activate a child’s account.