What is the NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program?
The NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program is a scholarship and savings program that supports the college and career futures of NYC public school students— regardless of family income or immigration status.
In partnership with our nonprofit partner, NYC Kids RISE, through the Save for College Program, every kindergarten student enrolled in participating NYC public schools (including participating charter schools) automatically receives a NYC Scholarship Account with an initial $100 allocation on their behalf, unless their parents/guardians choose not to participate by “opting out.”
The Save for College Program began as a pilot in 2017 in the geography of Community School District 30, and now nearly all eligible students (~16,900 first through sixth graders) from the communities of Astoria, Long Island City, East Elmhurst, Corona, Jackson Heights, Sunnyside, and Woodside have an NYC Scholarship Account with funds allocated for college and career training. Visit the Save for College Program Pilot website to learn more about the pilot phase of the Save for College Program.
As part of the 2021 Juneteenth Economic Justice Plan, the City announced the expansion of the Save for College Program to all kindergarten students enrolled in NYC Public Schools (including participating charter schools) starting School Year 2021-2022.
Who is qualified for this program?
Kindergarten, first grade, and second grade students who
- begin kindergarten, first grade, or second grade during the 2023-24 academic year, and
- are enrolled in a NYC Public School, including participating charter schools.
School District 30 Pilot School Students in Grades K-5
Because the program was piloted in School District 30 starting in 2017, every kindergarten through fifth grade student in the 39 pilot schools is eligible. These pilot schools include schools within the geographic boundaries of Community School District 30, including the District 75 sites and Charter Schools. These schools are listed below.
Participating Pilot Community School District 30 Schools
- P.S.002 Alfred Zimberg
- P.S.011 Kathryn Phelan
- P.S.017 Henry David Thoreau
- P.S.069 Jackson Heights
- P.S.076 William Hallet
- P.S.084 Steinway
- P.S.085 Judge Charles Vallone
- P.S.092 Harry T. Stewart Sr.
- P.S.111 Jacob Blackwell
- P.S.112 Dutch Kills
- P.S.122 Mamie Fay
- P.S.127 Aerospace Science Magnet School
- P.S.148 Queens
- P.S.149 Christa Mcauliffe
- P.S.150 Queens
- P.S.151 Mary D. Carter
- P.S.152 Gwendoline N. Alleyne School
- P.S.166 Henry Gradstein
- P.S.171 Peter G. Van Alst
- P.S.Q222 - Fire Fighter Christopher A. Santora School
- P.S.228 Early Childhood Magnet School of the Arts
- The 30th Avenue School (G&T Citywide)
- East Elmhurst Community School
- The Woodside Community School
- P.S.398 The Héctor Figueroa School
Participating Pilot District 75 Schools
- The Riverview School (P277 @ Q76 and P277 @ Q78 sites only)
- P255 (Q397 site only)
- P4 (Skillman site only)
Participating Pilot Charter Schools
- Academy of the City Charter School
- Growing Up Green Charter School
- Our World Neighborhood Charter School
- Renaissance Charter School
- VOICE Charter School of New York
What is the NYC Scholarship Account?
Once a student is enrolled in the Save for College Program, NYC Kids RISE will create an NYC Scholarship Account and automatically allocate $100 toward the student’s future college and career training. There are opportunities for families to get more money for their student’s NYC Scholarship Account over time. Community organizations, businesses, neighbors, and others can contribute money to groups of students' scholarship accounts through Community Scholarships to demonstrate the community's support for every child's success.
NYC Kids RISE, a nonprofit organization, owns and manages the scholarship funds on behalf of participating students. NYC Kids RISE invests the funds in a New York 529 College Savings Program Direct Plan, a type of investment account specifically created for college and career savings that can be used for a variety of higher education expenses.
How is the NYC Scholarship Account created?
NYC Kids RISE will create an NYC Scholarship Account in each student’s name after they receive information from NYC Public Schools about each participating student and their parent/guardian(s). Visit the NYC Kids RISE Frequently Asked Questions page for more details.
What information will be shared if a family wants their student to receive an NYC Scholarship Account?
NYC Public Schools will only share what is known as “Directory Information” about students and their parents/guardians.
Directory Information for Students Includes:
- A student identification number unique to the program
- Full name
- Home address
- Whether the home address changes
- Home phone number
- School name
- Current grade level
- Language(s) spoken at home
- Transfers made to other schools, if any, both inside and outside the NYC public school system
Directory Information for Parents/Guardians Includes:
- Parent or guardian identification numbers unique to the program
- Full name
- Email address
- Cell and/or other phone number
Who gets the Directory Information?
NYC Kids RISE and VistaShare, a data management company.
How can NYC Kids RISE and VistaShare use the Directory information?
They are only allowed to use or share Directory Information to run and evaluate their program. Neither organization is allowed to sell, use, or share the Directory Information for advertising, marketing, or other commercial purposes. In fact, they need our approval before sharing Directory Information with anyone else.
What rules are there about sharing student information?
A federal law called the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act prevents NYC Public Schools from sharing a student’s personally identifiable information without permission from a parent or guardian. However, unless parents/guardians tell us not to, the NYC Public Schools can share Directory Information about them and their student.
If you are looking for opt out information, please continue to the “How do parents/guardians opt out of the program and what is the school's role?” section.
What do parents/guardians have to do to receive an NYC Scholarship Account for their student?
Parents/guardians do not have to do anything for their student to receive an NYC Scholarship Account. Eligible students are automatically enrolled in the program and receive a free NYC Scholarship Account unless their parent/guardian chooses not to participate by opting out. Each NYC Scholarship Account comes with an initial $100 allocation of funds. Parents/guardians do not have to provide any money of their own to get this account.
Can a student receive funds from NYC Kids RISE and not share their information?
Unfortunately, no. NYC Kids RISE and VistaShare need that information to create and allocate funds to NYC Scholarship Accounts for participating students.
How do parents/guardians opt out of the NYC Scholarship Account and what is the school's role?
As of the 2023–24 school year, all NYC Public School kindergarten, first grade, and second grade students are eligible to join the Save for College Program and receive an initial allocation of $100 in an NYC Scholarship Account. All schools with kindergarten, first, and/or second grade classes are required to ensure kindergarten, first grade, and second grade families are aware of the program. Share the Introductory Video, Program Basics, and Program FAQ with kindergarten and new first grade and second grade families as a part of the launch of the school year. New first grade and second grade families include those students who enrolled in your school after April 1, 2023.
Parents/guardians have the opportunity to opt out of receiving an NYC Scholarship Account. The opt-out date may differ between students and is based on when the student was enrolled in school.
For the 2023-2024 school year, the Initial Opt-out Period begins on November 1 and ends on November 30, and applies to all kindergarten students and any first or second grade students who enrolled in your school after April 1st, 2023. If a family opts out, they will not receive an NYC Scholarship Account, they will not receive the initial $100 allocation, and their student’s data will not be shared with NYC Kids RISE and the technology vendor VistaShare.
Parents/guardians who want to participate in the Program simply take NO ACTION during the Opt-out Period.
During their 30-day opt-out period, parents/guardians who wish to change their child’s participation status by opting-out have two options:
- Parents/guardians can change their child’s participation status within the NYC Schools Account (NYCSA). This is the recommended way for parents to opt out, re-enroll or cancel. After logging in to NYCSA, the parent/guardian should look at the main screen with all of the tiles. The parent/guardian can click on the “Forms'' tile, then click on the "view" button on the next page near “NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program.” After this they can review program information and will have relevant options available towards the bottom of the page.
- Parents/guardians can return a signed opt-out form to their child’s school for data entry into ATS within a defined 30-day period. The deadline will be printed on the opt-out notice and form. See below for more details.
Guidance for School Staff
Rolling Opt-out: Any students who enroll in your school on or after November 1, 2023 will still have the opportunity to participate in, or opt out of, the Program. After November 2, 2023, personalized Opt-out Notices and Forms will automatically print at your school via ATS printers as new students become eligible for the program during the 2023-24 school year. Please ensure families of new students receive these letters and share Introductory Video, Program Basics, and Program FAQ with them promptly. Multilingual versions of these educational materials can be found on the NYC Kids RISE website under downloadable resources.
If you ever need to reprint an Opt-out Notice and Form, please visit the ATS Wiki page for detailed guidance.
Additionally, note the following information:
- Paper Opt-Out and Participation Status Change Forms returned to the school must be logged into ATS and stored in the student’s cumulative folder.
- For more resources to share with families, including FAQ documents, a program one-pager and more please visit the NYC Kids RISE Downloadable Materials and NYC Kids RISE Videos webpages.
- For questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
District Opt Out Notice and Form available in:
District Opt Out Notice and Form -- English
District Opt Out Notice and Form -- Spanish
District Opt Out Notice and Form -- Chinese
District Opt Out Notice and Form -- Bangla
District Opt Out Notice and Form -- Russian
District Opt Out Notice and Form -- Urdu
District Opt Out Notice and Form -- Arabic
District Opt Out Notice and Form -- Haitian
District Opt Out Notice and Form -- Korean
District Opt Out Notice and Form -- French
- District Opt Out Notice and Form -- English
What if a family wants to change their student’s participation after their opt-out period?
After a student’s Opt-out Period ends, parents/guardians can still choose to cancel or re-enroll their student in the Program. We can think of these actions broadly as changing the child’s participation status.
If the Opt-out Period has ended, a parent/guardian who wants to change their student’s participation status has two options:
- Make the change within the NYC Schools Account. This is the recommended way for parents to opt out, re-enroll or cancel. After logging in to NYCSA, the parent would:
- Look at the main screen with all of the tiles
- Click on the “Forms” tile
- Click on the "view" button on the next page new the “NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program"
- Review program information and
- Choose from the relevant options available towards the bottom of the page.
- Parents/guardians who do not use NYC Schools Account can complete and return a signed Participation Status Change form (available below). If a custodial parent signs and returns one of these forms, the action should be logged within ATS as described within this ATS Wiki page.
District Participation Status Change Form available in:
District Participation Status Change Form -- English
District Participation Status Change Form -- Spanish
District Participation Status Change Form -- Chinese
District Participation Status Change Form -- Bangla
District Participation Status Change Form -- Russian
District Participation Status Change Form -- Urdu
District Participation Status Change Form -- Arabic
District Participation Status Change Form -- Haitian
District Participation Status Change Form -- Korean
District Participation Status Change Form -- French
- District Participation Status Change Form -- English
When will the NYC Scholarship Accounts be available?
NYC Kids RISE will notify schools and families when their students’ accounts are available to be activated and viewed. Participating families will receive a Welcome Email and Welcome Booklet via postal mail with instructions and information once their accounts are ready to be activated and viewed.
I have a question that hasn’t been answered. Where can I find more information?
More guidance and communications will be available on this page, via professional learning modules, and through your school leaders. Email email@example.com with questions.
Our partners NYC Kids RISE also have a set of tools and resources to support school partners in educating and working with families to understand the Program, and more information can be found on the Schools Partners page of the NYC Kids RISE website.
NYC Kids RISE also offers live Professional Learning Sessions throughout the school year for school staff; details and registration links can be found on the School Partners page.
Call NYC Kids RISE at 833-543-7473 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about:
- The types of investments the account uses
- Matching money
- Other Program-related questions