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Dollars for College

Dollars for College is a children’s savings account (CSA) program providing families in Lancaster, Texas, with access to affordable, reliable, accessible college savings accounts for their children. It’s developed in partnership between Lancaster ISD, Richardson ISD, Communities Foundation of Texas, and United Way of Metropolitan Dallas.

Dollars For College

Did you know? Kids who grow up with as little as $500 saved are 3 times more likely to go to college and 4 times more likely to graduate.

How it works

Dollars for College 529 educational savings accounts will be opened for kindergarten and/or first grade students at participating schools in Lancaster and Richardson ISD. These accounts are seeded with $50 and linked to a student’s individual 529 account to be set up by parents or guardians. 

Families can make deposits in their student’s individual account at any time, and families and students also can earn incentives to grow their overall total savings. When the child is ready to pursue postsecondary education or training, they can access funds from these accounts to use toward that expense.

Show kids they’re
worth the investment


Jobs in Texas that will require postsecondary education by 2020


DISD students that currently complete a postsecondary degree within six years of high school graduation


Dallas’ child poverty rate, one of the highest among peer cities

More to Come

Lancaster ISD was the first participating school district for 2018-2019 in the Dallas area, with Richardson ISD launching in 2019, and many more to come! 

Dollars for College is grateful for the support of our generous funders and partners, including The Meadows Foundation, Boone Family Foundation, Dallas Social Venture Partners, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, Wells Fargo, and the W.W. Caruth, Jr. Fund at Communities Foundation of Texas.

& Impact


participating schools in Lancaster and Richardson ISD


of eligible students opted in to the program


college savings accounts opened last year


in deposits made into accounts last year
Play Video

Dollars for College Overview Video

Recent local media coverage:

Are you a Lancaster kindergarten family looking to register?

For the first year you are enrolled, the Dollars for College savings program will match, dollar-for-dollar, deposits of up to $100 dollars. Your child will also have the chance to earn up to $100 in additional money in the form of performance incentives, which will be explained by your school.

Donate Today.

Help us improve the future of our community and put local kids on the path to success.
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Ashley McIver
Senior Community
Philanthropy Officer
dfcquote.PNG When children know they have money set aside for college or postsecondary education, they embrace graduation as an expectation. Children who grow up with college savings accounts are three times more likely to go to college and four times more likely to graduate, compared to those who don’t have college savings.  CFT, Educate Texas and the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas partnered to launch Dollars for College, a program that provides low-income families with a safe, trusted, easy-to-access and low-cost opportunity to start building savings. The partners were thrilled to collaborate with Lancaster ISD as the first school district  in North Texas to introduce Dollars for College, with  plans to expand to Richardson ISD in fall 2019. Both of the initial districts were chosen because of their prior success as STEM districts with CFT’s Educate Texas and Texas Instruments Foundation. Dollars for College scholarship accounts are opened for every participating kindergarten student within Lancaster ISD. These accounts are seeded with $50 and linked to students’ individual 529 accounts, which are set up by parents. Families and students have opportunities to earn incentives and matching funds to grow their savings, and when each child is ready to pursue postsecondary education or training, they may access funds from these accounts to do so. The W.W. Caruth, Jr. Fund at CFT, The Meadows Foundation, The Boone Family Foundation, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, Wells Fargo and Dallas Social Venture Partners, along with Lancaster ISD, generously provided funding. Lancaster ISD received the H-E-B Academic Excellence Award in 2018 and invested the $50,000 award in the initial Dollars for College program to support accounts for every current LISD kindergarten student. To date, over 90% of LISD kindergarten families have agreed to enroll their students in Dollars for College,  with over 200 opening parent accounts. Starting college  savings from an early age can help change the trajectory for these students, their families and the entire community, helping more students access and complete postsecondary education in the years to come. We look forward to sharing in the success of the first class of Dollars for College kindergarteners – and seeing the program expand in the years to come. Learn more at CFTexas.org/DollarsforCollege.  dfc.PNG Lancaster ISD held a Mardi Gras-themed kindergarten prom for students in celebration of Dollars for College.  

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