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What Works in CSA Programs: New Research From Inversant

Inversant, a Campaign for Every Kid's Future partner, is a Children’s Savings Account (CSA) program provider working with more than ten community partners in Massachusetts. Our CSA model pairs saving for college with effective parental engagement strategies. Along with opening accounts and providing monetary incentives to save, our program incentivizes parents or caregivers to participate in monthly workshops called “Learning Circles,” where our facilitators deliver a professionally developed, college-focused financial education curriculum. 

Our first partnership dates back to 2009, with Chelsea Public Schools. Being our oldest program, Inversant accumulated an abundance of data to evaluate the impact of our services. Also, in 2012, we initiated a collaboration with the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where Professor Terry Long and Dr. Jodut Hashmi collected three-year longitudinal data to conduct two separate studies on the population we serve in Chelsea Public Schools. One qualitative study focused on the experience of Inversant parents and one quantitative study analyzed the academic outcomes of Inversant high school students. We have now regrouped the findings of our internal program evaluation with the findings of these two independent studies in one report, which we released recently. 

Here are some of the main findings:

Saving and attendance outcomes:

  • On average, participants attended half of the Learning Circles they were offered.  

  • A strong correlation exists between Learning Circle attendance rates and savings accumulation and frequency suggesting that attending the monthly meeting serves as a reminder and motivator to deposit money.

Impact on parents:

  • The program encouraged immediate proactive behavioral change among families to prepare for college.  

  • The program created an important support structure for participating families that altered their experiences with the college preparation process.

Impact on students’ educational outcomes:

  • Participating students were more likely to take math and science classes, which is indicative of a higher likelihood of preparing academically for college. 

  • Participating students’ attendance levels were higher than students who were not participating in the program. 

Inversant will discuss the findings from the report in a webinar on June 28 (2-3 PM EDT). This is a unique opportunity to gain a better understanding of how predominantly low-income Latino immigrant families save and prepare for college, how a CSA program impacts parenting behavior and style and whether a CSA program has an impact on the educational outcomes of high-school children.  

RSVP here to receive instructions on how to join our webinar on Wednesday, June 28.  

Watch this video to learn more about Inversant's partnership with Chelsea Public Schools.