December 2, 2016
WORCESTER – With last month’s national election signaling a likely move away from the concept of free higher education, state Treasurer Deborah Goldberg on Thursday said college savings programs like her office’s SeedMA initiative are now “more important than ever.”
Ms. Goldberg made her comments at a roundtable discussion on college costs and financial literacy at Clark University, where she answered questions from about a dozen attendees for about an hour. One of the participants, a student at Clark, asked the treasurer what she thought about free college, an idea that gained traction in the past year thanks to Democratic leaders like President Barack Obama and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
“I was for that,” Ms. Goldberg said. “But I’m afraid we’re going backwards right now. Now the kinds of programs we’re doing are even more important.”
Ms. Goldberg specifically was referring to the SeedMA program, which debuted as a pilot in Worcester this year. The initiative encourages parents of young children to save for college by giving each kindergartner in the city an initial $50 donation to open a 529 college savings account.
The treasurer’s office opened enrollment for the program to Worcester families in the summer. Deputy Treasurer Alayna Van Tassel said the treasurer’s office plans to release initial sign-up numbers soon.
“For year one, they’re certainly meeting our expectations,” she said.