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November 2021

With the Keystone Scholars Program, the Pennsylvania Treasury Department invests $100 for all Pennsylvania babies born in 2019 or after, including those who are adopted by Pennsylvania residents. Keystone Scholars funds can be used for qualified higher education expenses at community colleges, vocational or training schools, apprenticeships and four-year universities.

New, Updated Information

The Pennsylvania Treasury Department has added information to its Keystone Scholars FAQ page. The expanded page shares more detail on how families can add their own savings; research behind the accounts; and Keystone eligibility for: adopted children, foster children, babies born outside Pennsylvania and children of immigrants.

Bright Future Booster Update

The Bright Future Booster is an additional $50 deposited automatically into the Keystone Scholars accounts of Pennsylvania babies born from January 1 through June 30, 2021 to mothers enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). The $50 is in addition to the $100 Keystone Scholars starter deposit and will grow over time.

Families enrolled in WIC with babies born during the first half of 2021 can still activate their Keystone Scholars accounts by registering online at All accounts are now funded. Children can use the funds for qualified higher education expenses at age 18 through age 29.

You can help by sharing information on the Bright Future Booster and Keystone Scholars programs. Download our short video to share on websites, with frontline staff, or in waiting areas. Or check out our Resources page for posters, flyers, and social media and newsletter content.

Become a Keystone Scholars Champion

Keystone Scholars Champions build upon the initial $100 Keystone investment to help children grow wealth and envision their futures.

Champions can be anyone - individuals, employers, community-based organizations, government entities or philanthropic foundations - who make additional deposits into the accounts of children in their communities. Champions can make a one-time deposit or multiple deposits at various milestones in children's lives. Champions can also designate deposits for all children within a particular community or for certain populations such as low-income or minority children.

Contact Anne DeCecco, Director of Keystone Scholars at Pennsylvania Treasury, at to learn more.

Keystone Scholars Cited in NY Times

Pennsylvania's Keystone Scholars program was recognized in an October 11 New York Times article as one of the largest statewide Child Development Account programs in the nation. The newspaper also featured a Keystone Scholars family from Lancaster.

Free Webinars Help Spread the Word

Partners can help families and staff learn about Keystone Scholars, the Bright Future Booster and the PA 529 College and Career Savings Program by spreading the word about Treasury's free webinars. Upcoming dates include: January 19 and April 7. Families can register here.

Washington University in St. Louis Publication Highlights Keystone Scholars Deposits for Financially Vulnerable Children

The Pennsylvania Treasury published a brief with the Center for Social Development at the Washington University in St. Louis featuring Keystone Scholars' targeted deposits. The brief notes Pennsylvania was the first state to legislate a statewide, automatic child development account for all children at birth. Pennsylvania was also the first state to help financially vulnerable families to build wealth through automatic, targeted deposits.

PA Treasury Promotes Keystone Scholars at Conferences and Fairs

The Pennsylvania Treasury Department was privileged to be a vendor at the Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers (PACHC) Conference in Lancaster. This network of health centers serves more than 917,000 patients annually at more than 330 sites in underserved rural and urban areas throughout Pennsylvania.

The conference established several important partnerships and helped to introduce the Keystone Scholars and Bright Future Booster to many providers. PACHC members appreciated having materials to share information with their patients.

The Pennsylvania Treasury Department also promoted Keystone Scholars at:

  • AmeriHealth Caritas Moms2B baby showers

  • The Pennsylvania Library Association Conference

  • Legislators' family festivals and senior expos

  • Several community and county fairs throughout Pennsylvania

  • A webinar for the Pennsylvania Head Start Association

PA's 529 Program Makes Strides to Be Affordable for All Families and Earns Coveted Morningstar Rating

The PA 529 College and Career Savings Program (PA 529) works in conjunction with Keystone Scholars to help families save for a child's future education and success. PA 529 recently made improvements intended to help all families take advantage of the savings plans. Last month, Treasurer Garrity eliminated the minimum deposit to open a PA 529 account, making it possible for anyone to start saving with as little as one dollar. Also, fees for the PA 529 Investment Plan (IP) were reduced in August.

Continual improvements like these helped the PA 529 Investment Plan (IP) earn Morningstar's Silver rating for the second year in a row. The honor designates the PA 529 IP as a best-in-class plan in the nation. Pennsylvania is one of only 14 states to earn either a silver or gold rating.

"This high ranking by Morningstar really shows what a valuable savings tool the PA 529 program is," said Pennsylvania State Treasurer Stacy Garrity. "I'm proud of our efforts to make sure more Pennsylvanians have access to a top-notch savings tool. Many of the great jobs in our state require specialized technical training, and PA 529 accounts can be used to help pay for that education."

Spread the Word about Keystone Scholars

If you know others who would like to receive this Keystone Corner newsletter, please forward this and invite them to sign up here.

PA Treasury Logo | Building a Better Future Through Education. | 800-440-4000
Stacy Garrity Pennsylvania Treasurer

Keystone Scholars is open to Pennsylvania residents born after December 31, 2018 and children born after December 31, 2018 who are subsequently adopted by a Pennsylvania resident. The child must be a Pennsylvania resident at birth or adoption and at the time the Keystone Scholars funds are used. The child must also be the Beneficiary of a PA 529 account other than the Keystone Scholars Account at the time Keystone Scholars funds are used. If not used by the beneficiary's 29th birthday, the funds will be returned to the Pennsylvania Treasury Department (Treasury). Funds in a Keystone Scholars Account will be invested in a PA 529 GSP account and will remain under the sole custody of Treasury until they are used for the purposes of paying for qualified higher education expenses at an institution of higher education. A list of qualified higher education expenses may be found at No additional funds may be contributed to a Keystone Scholars Account. However, families are encouraged to save in their own PA 529 account.

The Pennsylvania 529 College and Career Savings Program sponsors three plans - the PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan (GSP), the PA 529 Investment Plan (IP), and Keystone Scholars. The guarantee of the PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan is an obligation of the GSP Fund, not the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or any state agency. Before investing in either PA 529 plan, please carefully read that plan's disclosure statement (available at to learn more about that plan, including investment objectives, risks, fees, and tax implications. Before you invest, consider whether your or the beneficiary's home state offers any state tax or other state benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors that are only available for investments in that state's qualified tuition program.

PA 529 College and Career Savings Program advertisements are paid for by the PA 529 College and Career Savings Program. Keystone Scholars advertisements are paid for with philanthropic dollars.

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