Statewide Educational Savings Program with $50 Deposit to all Newborns
Andrew Napolitano Deputy Director of Communications firstname.lastname@example.org (617) 367-9333 x614
BOSTON — State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg announced this week the successful launch of the BabySteps Savings Plan. This groundbreaking program guarantees every child born or adopted in Massachusetts will receive a $50 seed deposit when a family member opens up a U.Fund 529 college savings account through MEFA. This deposit comes at no cost to the taxpayers and will incentivize families of all income levels to start saving for their children’s future today.
“With the rising cost of post-secondary education, the path forward is unclear for many of our kids,” said Treasurer Deborah Goldberg. “Babysteps will encourage thoughtful planning for higher education and vocational training for children across Massachusetts.”
This program builds upon Treasurer Goldberg’s successful three-year pilot program, formally known as SeedMA, in Worcester and Monson. Using best practices from the pilot program puts BabySteps Savings Plan in position to provide families with a seamless sign-up process. Parents simply need to check the box on the birth certificate form they receive in the hospital to start the enrollment process, or they can visit BabyStepsSavingsPlan.org to learn more about the program and get started.
All new parents/guardians in Massachusetts will have one year after the child is born or adopted to open a U.Fund 529 college savings account in order to receive the $50 deposit. The deposit will be transferred directly into the child’s U.Fund account offered by MEFA and financed by the Massachusetts State Treasurer’s Economic Empowerment Trust Fund with support from private donors.
One of the program’s founding investors, Bob Hildreth, the founder of Inversant, has committed to provide the seed deposit for each of the first 6,000 children to join the program.
“Seeing the impact a college education can have on students who grew up in poverty inspired me to seed fund the BabySteps program,” said Bob Hildreth, Founder of Inversant and the Hildreth Institute. “This initial deposit is not just my commitment to making college more accessible for Massachusetts students. It's also a challenge to foundations and philanthropists: Join me in pledging additional resources and motivating families to open savings accounts and save for their children's future!”
“We want everyone to understand how saving for college can help every child reach his or her dream, and starting to save right when a child is born will give families a head start. Through MEFA’s U.Fund 529 plan, aspirations for a college education have become a reality for 20 years,” said Tom Graf, Executive Director of MEFA. “Planning early will provide children and families more options when it comes time to pursue that college degree.”
The BabySteps Savings Plan will also provide free financial education services to all families in the Commonwealth. For more information on the BabySteps Saving Plan, please visit BabyStepsSavingsPlan.org.
The BabySteps Savings Plan is offered by the MA State Treasurer’s Office of Economic Empowerment (OEE). On her first day in office, Treasurer Goldberg created 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.