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Opportunity L.A. Children’s Savings Program Celebrates 100,000 College Savings Accounts For LAUSD First-Graders

Posted on 03/21/2024
OLA New Cohort

El Dorado Elementary School first-graders gathered in front of their school campus as the recipients of new savings accounts on March 18, when the City of Los Angeles Community Investment for Families Department (CIFD), Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), and Citibank, joined L.A. City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez in celebrating the opening of more than 28,000 new children’s savings accounts through the Opportunity L.A program. 

In its fourth year, Opportunity L.A. continues to provide a savings account for every first-grade student in LAUSD elementary schools and will have opened over 100,000 savings accounts by this Spring, making it the largest universal children’s savings account program in the nation. 

El Dorado Elementary School parents, LAUSD Board members, and City partners joined the day’s event, which also announced a $1.5 million grant from the State of California Scholarshare Investment Board to support program outreach.

“This is a very significant step in the support of the academic success and nurturing of the futures of young people here in Los Angeles,” Councilwoman Rodriguez said. “This effort is just one more investment and tool to make sure that families have the financial resiliency to be able to make it.”

This year’s new cohort of families receives up to a $50 seed deposit to kick-start their college savings. The program also teaches children fiscal responsibility, creates a college-going culture, and encourages saving for the future, helping CIFD take another step toward its mission of ending the cycle of poverty in L.A. 

“Opportunity L.A. has been a huge success. Through the partnership of the program, countless young minds have been empowered, dreams have been nurtured, and opportunities have been unlocked,” said Abigail R. Marquez, CIFD General Manager. 

“This savings account program is helping break down barriers to postsecondary education and connect families to additional financial empowerment programs available in our region, creating an immediate and long-term positive impact for Angelenos.” 

When enrolling in a LAUSD elementary school, first-grade students will automatically receive a savings account if their parents or guardians do not opt out of the program. Accounts are available to students regardless of a student or parent’s income, background, or immigration status. Families have easy access to make deposits in person at a local Citibank branch, online via Bill Pay or direct deposit, and through mail via check or money order. The program offers additional opportunities for participants to increase their savings through program incentives. 

Research shows that students with designated college savings accounts are three times more likely to attend college and four times as likely to graduate on time than those without. Opportunity L.A. is helping to level the educational playing field and aligns closely with the CIFD mission to augment community investments for families and neighborhoods in the City of Los Angeles and create opportunities for all Angelenos to prosper. 

For additional information about the program, contact or (213) 820-4283.