Oakland schools start college savings account for students

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Another Bay Area school has committed to help send their students to college.

Oakland Unified School District Wednesday announced it will give each kindergarten student $100 to open a college fund.

"With this money we're setting up expectations for our kids and also making sure that there is discussion and dialog and at home about college," said Vinh Trinh of the Oakland Unified School District.

The Kindergarten to College program allows parents to contribute whatever they can beginning in kindergarten through the end of high school. That's 13 years worth of savings.

"I will save about $100 would be a good idea, saving like every month if we can," said Jessica Zuniga, a parent.

If she follows through with her plan, her daughter will have more than $15,000 for college.

"It's not just about a T-shirt, not just about $100 dollars, it's a shift in the culture and the mindset that we believe in that you are going we know you are going to go to college," said Bernadette Zermeno, a teacher.

If for any reason, the family moves out of Oakland, they can take the savings account with them and continue making contributions.

This year, 18 schools will be enrolled in the Kindergarten to College program and within 40 years every school in the district will be participating.

San Francisco Unified has a similar program. Families there receive either $50, or $100 depending on their income.

"She's hearing a lot about college and she's asking, 'What's college mom,'" Zuniga said.

Families who never expected they could afford college are now having a different conversation.
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