Summary of the Results from the Child Support for College (CS4C) Asset-Building Initiative

CFRP Report | R.004.1013

October 2013  
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INTRODUCTION

In recent decades, college has become increasingly important to earnings potential, upward mobility, and a host of positive life outcomes. At the same time, college has also become increasingly expensive, fueling a rapid escalation in student loan debt and borrower default rates. In an effort to combat these trends, a group of Texas stakeholders convened to consider alternative methods of encouraging college savings among a broad population of Texans, especially those with a limited capacity to save.

These discussions gave rise to the Child Support for College (CS4C) pilot program, an innovative collaboration between state-level partners, local nonprofits, private entities, and the Texas Office of the Attorney General, Child Support Division (OAG). The CS4C program applies the incentives of asset-building to lump sum transfers within the child support population, a largely untapped intersection that helps marry the twin goals of boosting college savings and promoting educational advancement and self-sufficiency among a traditionally lower-income population. Because the program has little precedent, program partners contracted with the Texas Child and Family Research Partnership (CFRP) to evaluate the impact of the program. This brief provides an overview of research findings from the 18-month pilot of CS4C.


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