Center on Assets, Education, and Inclusion

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Child Savings Accounts and Other Tax-Advantaged Accounts Benefiting American Children

The United States Senate Committee on Finance


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In 2016, the Community Foundation of Wabash County (CFWC) created the Imagine Early program (first known as Promise Scholars then more recently as the Early Award Scholarship Program). Imagine Early, a type of Children’s Savings Account (CSA) program, expands on traditional CSAs by providing merit-based educational scholarships. The scholarships are earned by students through their efforts in school and are awarded into their Community Foundation Imagine Early Fund.

In this paper, the author organizes the history of our understanding of CSAs impact on college as a series of “evolutions” advancing the field. In addition, the paper uses a continuum of evidence of effectiveness to better assess the evidence on Children’s Savings Account’s (CSA) effectiveness at improving children’s college outcomes.

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