Study reveals school savings accounts can dry up in ‘financial deserts’

August 13, 2019 | San Francisco State University

Children’s savings accounts (CSAs), offered by elementary schools throughout San Francisco and in schools across the nation, were introduced to boost college-going rates, limit student debt and foster equal opportunity for low-income children. However, San Francisco State University Assistant Professor of Management Ian Dunham finds that geography — particularly in neighborhoods that lack brick-and-mortar banks and credit unions — may play a key role in how much families with CSAs actually save for college.

Dunham, who teaches in San Francisco State’s Lam Family College of Business, and two collaborators are the first to study the connection between economic inequality, a neighborhood’s financial service environment and the CSA savings rates at nearby schools, according to their recent study published in the Journal of Consumer Affairs.

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