Saint Paul Marks the Start of the New Decade with a New CSA Program
In the early hours of New Year’s Day, the city of Saint Paul, MN welcomed its newest resident, Hanna Heggeseth, at Regions Hospital. Hanna and her parents were soon greeted by Mayor Melvin Carter who congratulated them on being the first family enrolled in the city’s brand-new CSA program, CollegeBound Saint Paul. The launch of the program ushers in a new era for the city which supports families in saving for their children’s futures. This program also boasts the ability tohelp St. Paul’s children get a head start toward college and beyond.
Mayor Carter initially announced the CSA program during his inauguration in 2018. He then launched a CSA Task Force that implemented a strategic, community-centered design process. The task force intentionally engaged with communities whose voices have been historically excluded from civic participation, holding sessions with 145 residents from a broad range of cultures and experiences that reflect the diversity of Saint Paul. Throughout this process, Prosperity Now provided technical assistance on CSA design and implementation based on its experience working with other CSA programs.
CollegeBound Saint Paul will provide an initial $50 seed deposit to all babies born as city residents beginning January 1, 2020, along with additional incentives to increase savings that will benefit children from low-income households. Children born after January 1st, 2020 who move to the city before the age of six are also eligible. Mayor Carter hopes the program will inspire parents to begin saving for college as soon as possible stating that, “We are investing in our young people. We are investing in the future of our city.”
CollegeBound Saint Paul is the first city-wide CSA program in the country to start at birth. It aims to take on the challenge of making college a reality for all of the city’s children. The process of creating CollegeBound Saint Paul serves as a model for how to engage diverse communities in public program design while continuing to build inclusive and equitable practices by focusing its outreach and engagement efforts on low-income communities and communities of color. CollegeBound Saint Paul is one of several city- and statewide CSA programs that have launched in 2020, or that will launch in in the immediate future, a testament to the amazing work being done across the CSA field.