Program provides seeded college savings accounts to low-income middle schoolers in 5 Massachusetts cities
BOSTON — Treasurer Deb Goldberg today announced open enrollment for the SoarMA pilot program providing seeded college savings accounts to low-income middle schoolers in select Massachusetts Gateway Cities. Every account opened through the SoarMA program includes a $50 deposit and families can have their savings matched up to $400 in the first year. SoarMA is a two-year initiative that includes the cities of Haverhill, Lowell, Pittsfield, Springfield and Worcester.
“Access to an affordable higher education provides a pathway to economic stability for many children and families,” said Treasurer Deb Goldberg. “I am excited to join the efforts of these five gateway cities to ensure Massachusetts’ next generation of leaders have a bright future.”
The 529 college savings accounts will be offered through the Office of the Massachusetts State Treasurer’s Office in collaboration with the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA) and Inversant, a Boston-based non-profit organization supporting SoarMA with its existing curriculum model.
"Getting families involved early in the college planning process empowers them to invest and succeed in higher education," said Charles Desmond, CEO of Inversant. "We are thrilled to be able to contribute Inversant’s parent-centric engagement model to SoarMA and look forward to working with Treasurer Goldberg and MEFA on this transformative project."
“MEFA is pleased to be a partner in this important initiative with Treasurer Goldberg, Inversant, and the leaderships of the Gateway cities” said Tom Graf, Executive Director of MEFA. “It is exciting to work with so many families on creating a plan for saving for college.”
SoarMA aims to increase the percentage of families saving for higher education while also boosting post-secondary enrollment and graduation rates for the participating cities. The initiative, funded through public-private partnerships, will provide a matched savings program and deliver high-quality financial education programming to families, building a culture centered on saving for the future and sustainable budget management.
For more specifics on the program and to enroll, please visit the program’s site www.SoarMA529.org.
On day one, Treasurer Goldberg created the Office of Economic Empowerment (OEE), led by a deputy treasurer, with the deliberate goal of implementing a range of economic empowerment initiatives that include closing the gender wage gap, increasing access to financial education, improving college affordability, and investing in STEM careers and education.
For more information on the Office of Economic Empowerment visit http://www.mass.gov/treasury/empowerment