National College Savings Month is big news around Southern because we understand the close relationship between education and family economic security. In fact, one of Southern’s primary goals is to increase educational opportunities within the communities we serve. And one of the ways we support that goal is by offering a variety of college savings accounts:
- Saving for Education, Entrepreneurship, and Downpayment (SEED):In 2003, the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) chose Southern to be one of ten sites to implement the SEED program. In this program, Southern opened and administered 75 SEED child savings accounts. Click here to learn more about the SEED National Initiative.
- Aspiring Scholars Matching Grant (ASMG): In 2007, Southern worked with the Arkansas Legislature to pass Act 597, which created the ASMG program to provide a savings incentive to low-to-moderate income families by matching funds saved for their child’s college education in the GIFT College Investment Plan. Click here to learn more about ASMG through the Arkansas State Treasurer’s Office.
- Mississippi College Savings Accounts:Most recently, Southern was one of the partners involved in the Mississippi College Savings Account Program, which was developed and carried out by the Center for Community and Economic Development at Delta State University (CCED) and the Mississippi Community Financial Access Coalition (MCFAC). The program was a two-year pilot initiative (2011-2012) to open a total of 500 savings accounts for children in the cities of Jackson, Greenville, and Leland, Mississippi. Click here to learn more about the Mississippi College Savings Account Program.
- Individual Development Accounts (IDAs): Since 1999, Southern has opened over 2,500 IDAs, which are matched savings accounts used for higher education, a first home, or small business development. IDAs are designed to lift families out of poverty through required financial education classes, goal-oriented savings support, and a financial match. Click here to learn more about our IDA program in Arkansas and Mississippi.
Southern uses these tools as one method of improving educational opportunities in the communities we serve. If you’d like to learn more about these options offered by Southern, please read our 2012 publication, Child Savings Accounts: Multiple Paths to a Brighter Future.
If you would like to receive a copy of our upcoming winter 2014 publication on college savings accounts at the state level in Arkansas and Mississippi or simply learn how you can help in Southern’s mission, please email Meredith Covington at email@example.com.