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The State Has Opened a College Savings Account for Every Child in New York: How to Activate It


Alina Prikhodko

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Kindergarten students in New York City public schools can now get $100 toward a college savings account. According to Silive, families need to activate the account to receive benefits and collect more funds.

City Schools Chancellor David K. Banks and NYC Kids RISE Founding Executive Director Debra-Ellen Glickstein announced last month that more than 200 students citywide now have scholarship accounts NYC Scholarship Accounts within the program NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program.

The program first started in 2022. It aims to bridge the wealth and educational gaps among public school students. Funds are available upon graduation from high school. Parents and guardians of students participating in the program must activate their account

Features of the program

NYC Kids RISE owns and manages scholarship funds on behalf of students and invests in the New York plan 529 College Savings Program Direct Plan. This is a type of investment account specifically designed for saving for higher education. Every year, each kindergarten student automatically receives a scholarship account unless the family opts out of the program.

Once a student enrolls in Save for College, DOE's nonprofit partner NYC Kids RISE creates a NYC Scholarship Account and automatically donates $100 towards the student's educational future. NYC Kids RISE offers families the opportunity to earn more money toward their student's scholarship account.

On the subject: New Yorkers can attend community colleges for free: all the features of the Excelsior Scholarship

Families can receive up to $200 in additional rewards in their child's account if they take fundamental steps, such as opening and connecting a separate college and career savings account that belongs to their child.

Account activation

Not all parents have taken the necessary steps to take advantage of all the cash rewards available in these college savings accounts.

As of last June, only 3,7% had begun investing in these accounts, according to a freedom of information request submitted by Andrew Gerst, an attorney with the civil rights group Mobilizing for Justice.

Gerst said the low percentage is due to the multi-step process families must go through, including activating the account. Next, you need to create and connect an individual college savings account into which families can save their own money.

For assistance in activating and viewing your family's child account, please contact your school's Parent Coordinator, write to NYC Kids RISE at [email protected] or call the NYC Kids RISE hotline at 833-543-7473.

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