Home » California Launches Nation’s Largest College Savings Program To Help Millions Save For College

California Launches Nation’s Largest College Savings Program To Help Millions Save For College

Published: Last Updated on 25 comments

All families of low-income public school students – 3.4 million across the state – can now access college savings accounts created in their children’s names, with seed investments of between $500 and $1,500.

California launched the CalKIDS program on Wednesday. The largest college savings program in the country invests $1.9 billion into ScholarShare 529 college savings accounts for low-income children in grades one through 12, and for newborns born on or after July 1, 2022. For babies born after July 1, parents can register online.

Eligible low-income school children will automatically receive $500 to their accounts. The state will add $500 if the child is in foster care, and another $500 if they are experiencing homelessness, according to a news release from the Governor’s Office.


Eligible newborns will receive an automatic $25 deposit, and those who register on the programs online portal will receive an additional $25. Since this is a state program, parents cannot add to their child’s account, but linking a new or existing ScholarShare 529 accounts to CalKIDS will get another $50 deposit.

The California Department of Public Health and California Department of Education identify which children qualify. Enrollment in the program is automatic, but the state has not released income guidelines to describe eligibility.

“California is telling our students that we believe they’re college material – not only do we believe it, we’ll invest in them directly,” said Governor Newsom in a statement. “With up to $1,500, we’re transforming lives, generating college-going mindsets, and creating generational wealth for millions of Californians.”

The purpose of the nearly $2 billion program is to encourage more kids to continue their education after high school. At-17-years-old students can withdraw the money for college or a trade school, and funds can be used for tuition, books and other education-related expenses. The state does not have an estimate on how much money students may have upon withdrawing, because it depends on the market and how long the money stays in the account.

Funds must be used before a child turns 26 and will only be directly distributed to the college the child is attending, according to the CalKIDS website.

“I am proud and excited to finally see CalKIDS in action. My goal with this program was to bridge the gap between wealth inequality and the high cost of education,” said Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian.

Three pieces of information are required in order to access CalKIDS accounts: The student’s date of birth, school county and their statewide student identifier. Californians can access their accounts via the CalKIDS online portal now, but notification letters will be sent to qualifying children and families with more information in the coming months.


WC August 14, 2022 - 1:25 PM

Yeah. When it gets enough money they’ll scheme and steal it.

Bob August 14, 2022 - 1:43 PM

Or just renounce your US citizenship, run back across the southern border, and get it for free!!!!

Ricardoh August 14, 2022 - 1:54 PM

How much buying power will $500 have fifteen years from now? Maybe worth a hundred fifty. Democrats have more ways of wasting money.

Wally August 14, 2022 - 5:31 PM

Is $500 in financial incentives worth the risk of being saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt that can’t be discharged through bankruptcy?

Cellophane August 14, 2022 - 2:05 PM

This is a reckless use of our tax dollars.

But it’s what the average CA voter voted for.

Communism by corruption.

No child will be helped.

Bureaucrats will prosper.

Wesley Mouch August 14, 2022 - 3:04 PM

A $10 gas card is much more attractive. This program is a subsidy to the super rich universities.

Having BBQ for dinner here.

Amy August 14, 2022 - 3:08 PM

Sure. If they haven’t already been indoctrinated in public school that should do it.

Obamavirus August 14, 2022 - 3:10 PM

Communism by corruption is a great way to describe it. The goal of every democrat is to use tax payer money to enrich themselves. In some cases it takes the form of creating a new bureaucracy where they can hire their friends at 6 figure salaries to “ administrate” a worthless program. In other cases you have ignorant, unqualified people trying to get government jobs for themselves because “ I’m a democrat” and then you have the insider trading and influence peddling where a lucrative government subsidy program attracts corrupt investors. Soon it will be a one to one matchup. One corrupt democrat “ life administrator” to one poor, ignorant immigrant or homeless drug addict.

Snakekeeper August 15, 2022 - 5:41 AM

The goal of EVERY politician is to use tax money to enrich themselves

Old Timer August 14, 2022 - 3:53 PM

What the hell is wrong with state?I worked fifty years in my career to raise my family pay for there education put food on the table and put a roof over our heads.All on our own no freebies or government help.Now we are going to send every kid to college on the tax payers money.You suck Newscum.

Parent August 14, 2022 - 4:22 PM

Look at Newscum! Buying the next generation of voters already.

Do you need to be a legal immigrant? I think you should, especially since you are using my tax monies.
Do they forfeit the account if they are incarcerated? It should be.
How are kids supposed to get this information …. Since many are too young to understand this?
How can kids pull out money at 17 when they are not legally an adult yet?

Paul August 14, 2022 - 4:41 PM

I’m all in for free money and help children getting an education. Yet I believe this program is just wasteful because we already have programs (pell grants from the federal and cal grant from the state ) that offer free money for low income students.

I rather see the money go into a fund where teachers can submit receipts and get reimbursed for school supplies because they spent money on them. The other alternative is using the fund to retain experienced teachers at inner city schools. If none of these programs are feasible, how about sent it back to the local to repair roads or give the back the money to the people for overtaxing.

The Fearless Spectator August 14, 2022 - 7:52 PM

I appreciate your comments here.
You are suggesting accountability, responsibility, and a financial paper trail; all excellent ideas.
Unfortunately the Newsom administration has no interest in any sort of analysis of their expenditures. His stance is write the check, and ask for more money when it runs out.
California desperately need a financially responsible Governor, and Gavin isn’t it.

Martinezmike August 14, 2022 - 5:30 PM

Millions don’t need to be saved for college. Millions need to be saved from college

Exit 12A August 14, 2022 - 6:40 PM

No US citizenship or green card requirement?
Illegals are again stealing public resources.

Worried August 14, 2022 - 6:48 PM

You be better off to save your money go to the public library and for a couple dollars in late fees you’ll come out a lot smarter colleges or nothing but indoctrination centers just ask the Chinese. Confucius centers for example

The Fearless Spectator August 14, 2022 - 8:59 PM

“If you want to get lai*, go to college. If you want an education, go to the library.” -Frank Zappa

Bean Burner August 14, 2022 - 8:30 PM

They know that if these young adults go to trade schools, they wont get the indoctrinations they’ll need to vote Dem and be good locksteb progressive lunatics.

No Excuses August 14, 2022 - 10:35 PM

Let us use your money to pay for our employees pensions and other government schemes…. In exchange, we will pay you .0001012 annual yield interest. When you want your money back, we will use the Pyramid system to give you money from the more recent investors. Easy Peasy!

Bella August 14, 2022 - 10:41 PM

Every child/student deserves an opportunity to go to College. We had set up Trust Accounts from day one of our marriage and when our son was born, his Trust Account, then sadly when I lost our second son, and then my daughter. All trust accounts for college. All I have to say is if your a young family, have children, do it early. It does pay off no matter the result.

LocalAntiLib August 15, 2022 - 8:15 AM

You don’t have to save for college, just get a student loan and let the loan debt be cancelled by the stupid politicians, it’s the socialist way..

Ricardoh August 15, 2022 - 9:42 AM

I wonder what else they could have done with two billion dollars.

WC---Creeker August 15, 2022 - 10:45 AM

“… bridge the gap between wealth inequality and the high cost of education,” said Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian.
Hey Adrin, what are you doing about lowering the cost of UC and Cal State system? He doesn’t even listen to his own stupid talking points.

Anonymous August 15, 2022 - 1:48 PM

Has anyone considered programs like this, as well as student loans for anyone with a pulse, is why college tuition is so high?

Bill Bennett was lampooned by the left at the time, but his hypothesis has been proven to be 100% correct:

“The Bennett Hypothesis holds that colleges will raise tuition when financial aid is increased, with the implication that increases in financial aid will not improve college affordability.”

Concord74 August 16, 2022 - 8:22 AM

Where is Marky-Mark and Weenie-Weiner in this fracas!!??? Even Swalwell may get involved if he benefits!!

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