Publication Date



This paper presents evidence from a randomized field experiment testing the impact of a 3-year matched savings program on educational outcomes 10 years later. We examine the effect of an Individual Development Account (IDA) program on educational enrollment, degree completion, and increased education level. The IDA program, which ran from 1998 to 2003 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, provided low-income households with financial education and matching funds for qualified savings withdrawals, including a 1:1 match for educational uses. We find a significant impact on education enrollment and positive, but non-significant impacts on degree completion and increase in level of education. We also examine the interaction between gender and treatment assignment and find that the IDA had a strong positive effect on increased educational attainment for males, but not for females.

Document Type

Working Paper


Financial Inclusion


Asset Building


Subsequent publication: Grinstein-Weiss, M., Sherraden, M., Gale, W. G., Rohe, W. M., Schreiner, M., & Key, C. C. (2013). Long-term effects of Individual Development Accounts on postsecondary education: Follow-up evidence from a randomized experiment. Economics of Education Review, 33, 58–68. doi:10.1016/j.econedurev.2012.12.007

Original Citation

Grinstein-Weiss, M., Sherraden, M., Gale, W., Rohe, W. M., Schreiner, M., & Key, C. (2012). Individual Development Accounts and post-secondary education: Evidence from a randomized experiment (CSD Working Paper No. 12-21). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.


American Dream Policy Demonstration (ADD)


asset effects, Assets and Education Symposium, academic achievement, IDA, individual development account