PA Treasurer Celebrates 5th Anniversary of Keystone Scholars at CHOP Karabots Pediatric Care Center

Treasurer Stacy Garrity visited Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Karabots Pediatric Care Center to celebrate the 5th anniversary of Pennsylvania’s Children’s Savings Account program, Keystone Scholars.

Keystone Scholars automatically provides a $100 starter deposit to every child born in Pennsylvania on or after January 1, 2019, and those adopted, to be used for future higher education expenses. CHOP has been a strong supporter of Keystone Scholars since 2021 and helps promote the program in various ways to its patients.

“We’re proud to work with great partners like Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia who have always put the health and wellbeing of Pennsylvania’s children and families first. Children’s Savings Accounts like Keystone Scholars can make a big difference for children and help them reach their goals. CHOP works with thousands of families with children who are eligible for Keystone Scholars, so their work to help spread the word is impactful,” said Treasurer Garrity.

“CHOP has a long history of innovating to improve the health of the patients we serve. Through the work of the MFP, we continue in that tradition by expanding the factors that help children achieve their full health potential. Health is inextricably tied to financial wellness, and education pays. Promoting Keystone Scholars, an evidence-informed intervention, is a great way to invest in helping children attain their best health,” said Director of CHOP’s Medical Financial Partnership (MFP) Dr. George Dalembert.

Located in West Philadelphia, Karabots Pediatric Care Center opened in 2013 and is the biggest provider of primary care services in CHOP’s network with more than 35 doctors and 56 examination rooms. Karabots also supports many community programs to enhance wellness for children and families.

Keystone Scholars uses no taxpayer money, and the funds are invested by Treasury and grow alongside the child. Accounts can be used after a child’s 18th birthday to help pay for a wide variety of technical, collegiate and apprenticeship expenses.

Keystone Scholars families are encouraged to open a companion PA 529 College and Career Savings Program account for their child to continue saving. The implementation of Keystone Scholars has helped increase PA 529 account ownership statewide, including growth among low-income families and families in rural communities.

Keystone Scholars is a national model for CSA programs. CSAs provide more than financial benefits for children and families, including improved social and emotional child development, lower maternal depressive symptoms, and increased parental expectations for a child’s future education. Research shows that children with even a modest amount of savings for education are three times more likely to attend a two- or four-year postsecondary institution, and four times more likely to graduate.

There are currently more than 640,000 funded Keystone Scholars accounts, and families who have activated their accounts and started their own companion PA 529 account have saved more than $85 million for their children’s future education since the program’s inception.