We've been fairly heavily promoting the recent announcement of a partnership between the U.S. Department of Education, the FDIC, and the National Credit Union Administration to promote savings and financial literacy for low-income students, in the context of increasing college access and success. But folks in the asset building arena interested in such efforts may be wondering, in no particular order: Who, What, When, Where, and How? (For the “Why” I recommend Secretary Arne Duncan’s video here).
Luckily, the Department of Education has baked this into the application process for this year’s federal GEAR UP grants. GEAR UP provides six- and seven-year grants to both states and community-based organizations to prepare low-income students for higher education. This year in particular, they are promoting the link between asset building, financial literacy and college readiness – which strikes us as a perfect opportunity for the asset building field to create and expand upon efforts to launch child savings accounts and other financial empowerment endeavors, particularly at a time when money for such efforts, however cost effective, is often difficult to come by.