Center on Assets, Education, and Inclusion

July 2, 2012

While AEDI’s main focus is on the relationship between assets and education, the case for providing adolescents or younger children with savings accounts goes beyond their potential for improving adolescents’ educational outcomes. These findings [finding discussed in NAF blog] discussed suggest that having a savings account as an adolescent can improve saving outcomes. Future research will want to examine whether having a savings account as an adolescent is related to other types of asset building such as investment in stocks, bonds, retirement funds, or CDs to name a few. It might be narrow minded to just think about the effects of early savings on adolescents’ educational outcomes even when framing the discussion for including savings in a comprehensive education plan. The benefits of adolescent savings may go well beyond improved educational outcomes. If this is the case, and adolescent savings does build assets that can be used across adulthood, this might be one way that asset-building policies are in stark contrast to policies that promote college loans or even grants.  Furthermore, it might lend support to thinking about children’s savings as a type of development account that has uses beyond the college years into retirement.

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