Metro

City to help kindergarten students save for college

Kindergartners at five Boston public schools will get a head start on saving for college through a pilot program that is expected to spread across the city in 2019, Mayor Martin J. Walsh is expected to announce Wednesday.

The Children’s Savings Account program will provide seed deposits of at least $50 to every kindergarten pupil at the selected schools this fall to help build momentum for their families to begin saving for future education and training, a Walsh spokeswoman said.

“All the studies show that if we put money into college education now for young people, the likelihood of them going to college is far greater than not having a savings account,” Walsh said. “They’ll have to put more money into it, but it really is an opportunity to start.”

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Children who have up to $500 saved for higher education are three times more likely to attend college and four times more likely to earn a degree, according to city officials.

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The pilot program will begin at Harvard/Kent Elementary School in Charlestown, James Otis Elementary School in East Boston, McKay K-8 School in East Boston, Franklin D. Roosevelt K-8 School in Hyde Park, and Conley Elementary School in Roslindale.

Superintendent Tommy Chang praised the program, which is intended to help every child in Boston complete some post-secondary education.

Walsh said saving for college while students are young can encourage them and their parents to envision and pursue academic goals.

The program will be administered by the Mayor’s Office of Financial Empowerment, with funding from a two-year grant from the National League of Cities.

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Additional money comes from several private sources, including the EoS Foundation.

Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.