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529 Savings Plan: Why Every Penny Counts


Feeling unprepared after high school, Ms. Tiller struggled in community college and ultimately dropped out. “I know life is hard,” she said, “and I don’t want to see them struggle like I have to.”Child savings accounts were conceived 30 years ago by Michael Sherraden, founder of the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis, who proposed creating accounts for all children at birth. Since 2007, he has been the lead investigator in an experiment tracking 2,700 newborns in Oklahoma randomly assigned to two groups: Half received $1,000 accounts at birth; the other received nothing. Many programs draw on the …

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