Brilliant Baby Offers Kids of Oakland Hope


Oakland leaders are committed to giving the city's youth a chance at a brighter future by increasing their likelihood of obtaining a college degree. Currently, only 10 percent of students graduate college, which they hope to get up to 30 percent by 2025. Brilliant Baby is part of Oakland's multi-pronged initiative to make college accessible to all students, starting off with a $500 college savings account (CSA) for every baby born into poverty.

So far, 500 families (1,500 babies) are set to receive CSAs over the next three years. The city is contributing $200,000 per year, while the rest is coming from private donors, including $3.4 million from Marc and Lynne Benioff. In addition to CSAs, the program offers $100 college scholarships to every public school kindergartener, plus additional resources for high schoolers preparing to navigate college life.

Oakland is part of a growing national trend to help low-income families start saving for college. And the approach seems to be working: research suggests that children from low-income families with a $500 CSA are four times more likely to graduate college. LEARN MORE