Frequently Asked Questions or (734) 302-2626

Why is Washtenaw Intermediate School District & Washtenaw County Government launching the My Future Fund program? 

In September 2021, the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution that included funding for Children’s Savings Accounts to “promote healthy childhoods environments, address educational disparities through investing in lower-income public schools and begin to impact social determinants of health (e.g. generational wealth,  employment, educational attainment) that caused disparate impact of COVID-19 in specific Washtenaw County communities.” Building on other collaborations with the WISD, the County contracted with the District to operate the program. With their shared commitment to equity, the County and WISD have been close partners in the development and rollout of the initiative. 

What is the current budget for the program? 

The current budget for the program over the next four years is $6.7 million, which includes up to $5.5 million in funding for My Future Fund Accounts for students. 

Where is the money coming from to fund the My Future Fund Accounts?

Initially the program, including the investment accounts, will be funded by the American Rescue Plan Act, Washtenaw County Government and the City of Ann Arbor. In addition, the program will seek additional funds to grow accounts over time and continue to start new accounts for future first graders after the first four years of the program

What other communities have Children’s Savings Account programs?

Operated by school districts, municipalities, community foundations and state governments, Children’s Savings Account (CSA) programs can be found across the county. In Michigan, Washtenaw County joins over a dozen other CSA. While each program varies in its structure and the age at which children are enrolled, the common thread is that they provide early savings for young people to build assets to use for future college and career training costs. 

Which Public School Districts or Public School Academies are participating in the My Future Fund program?

Ann Arbor Public Schools
Chelsea Schools
Dexter Community Schools
Honey Creek Community School
Lincoln Consolidated Schools
Manchester Community Schools
Milan Area Schools
Saline Area Schools
Washtenaw Intermediate School District
Whitmore Lake Public Schools
Ypsilanti Community Schools

What does the research say about Children’s Savings Accounts?

There is a growing body of research that points to positive benefits of Children’s Savings Accounts. Research has shown that students from low-and moderate- income households who have a dedicated savings of $1-$499 for higher education are more than four times more likely to enroll in college.1 In addition, early findings suggest that providing progressive incentives, such as the $475 deposit for students from low-come families, may help reduce the college savings gap between high and low income students.2

Local University of Michigan CSA experts Dr. William Elliot and Dr. Trina Shanks have shared best practices based on their research in the development of the Washtenaw County program and will continue to share their expertise with My Future Fund staff as the program evolves. 

How will my Future Fund lead to more equitable outcomes?

Systemic educational, racial and economic inequities have led to disparities in post-secondary enrollment and completion for students living in poverty, for students of color and for students with other marginalized identities. 

In Washtenaw County, one of the most persistent economic disparities is the generational wealth gap, which is driven in part by parallel disparities in educational outcomes. These disparities were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. By funding a Children’s Savings Account model to build assets for children to use for post-secondary education expenses, the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners seeks to increase the number of low-income students who enroll in college and career training programs. This in turn can open up career options that can lead to more stable and higher income jobs. 

By providing a jump-start for students’ savings, using pandemic relief funds for progressive deposits based on income, offering financial education in the future and sharing other related resources, My Future Fund hopes to reduce some of the barriers to post-secondary education for families. 

How are American Rescue Plan Act funds being used for this program? 

The American Rescue Plan Act was signed by President Joe Biden in March 2021 as part of the federal relief effort during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners has allocated $2.9 million of ARPA funds to be used specifically for the My Future Fund accounts of students from low-income families. 

 1Elliot, W., Song H., & Nam, I. (2013). Small-dollar Children’s Savings Accounts and children’s college outcomes by income level. Children and Youth Services Review 35(3): 560-671

2Elliot, W. (2018) Lessons learned from Children's Savings Account programs: Tools to leverage spending to facilitate saving among low-income families.Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, Center on Assets, Education & Inclusion.

How do the My Future Fund Accounts work?

The Washtenaw Intermediate School District is collaborating with the Michigan Education Savings Program to steward an omnibus investment account on behalf of My Future Fund students. The omnibus account is held by the Michigan Education Savings Program in the Enrollment Year Investment Option and managed by TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc.

Each student is assigned a share of the total amount of funds in the omnibus investment account. When families log-in to the My Future Fund portal they will be able to see the value of their shares, which will increase or decrease depending on the overall investments’ performance in the market. 

Which students are eligible to receive a My Future Fund Account in 2023?

Students who are in grades 2 through 6 and were enrolled in a participating Washtenaw County Public School or participating Public School Academy in October 2022 will receive an account in 2023.

What if families do not want to participate? 

Parents can request to opt-out of the program. Their student will not receive a My Future Fund Account or any related deposits. 

What if a student is not a U.S. citizen or is undocumented? 

If a student is enrolled in a participating school, they are eligible to automatically receive a My Future Fund account. Because the funds are stewarded by the WISD, students do not have to submit a social security number or Taxpayer Identification Number. 

What if a student lives outside of Washtenaw County and attends a participating public school within Washtenaw County?

Students who are enrolled as of the Fall Pupil Membership Count of their cohort’s year in a Washtenaw County Public School District or Public School Academy and live outside of Washtenaw County will still be eligible. 

What if a student enrolls for the first time in a participating Washtenaw school after their grade has received a My Future Fund account?

They will receive their My Future Fund Account and $25 starting investment based on the next Fall Pupil Membership Count following their enrollment. 

What if a student lives within Washtenaw County and attends a private school or is homeschooled?

Students who are attending a private school or are homeschooled are not eligible for a My Future Fund Account unless they are also receiving services or part-time instruction at an eligible school. 

All families and students are welcome to attend our community based events and sign-up for our newsletter to receive information about planning and saving for college and career training.

What if a student is no longer enrolled in any participating school within Washtenaw County?

Students will be able to keep the funds invested in their My Future Fund Account at the time of their departure but will not be able to earn additional bonuses or incentives. Families will need to keep their contact information up to date within the My Future Fund Family Portal.  

How will you protect students’ privacy?

The Washtenaw Intermediate School District will only use student data for the purposes of the My Future Fund program. The WISD will maintain the confidentiality of all student information as outlined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”). 

What is an omnibus account?

It is an account that pools funds on behalf of multiple parties. 

How is this different from a savings account?

In a savings account, the balance earns interest from the financial institution, like a bank or credit union. Savings account holders can typically add and withdraw money from the account for any reason at any age.  

The My Future Fund Account is an investment account of pooled funds held on behalf of participating students. Students and families cannot make their own deposits or withdraw funds for any use other than college and career training expenses. The goal with an investment account is for the dollars to grow based on performance of the investment accounts in the  market. But because the funds are tied to the market’s performance, they may also decrease. 

What information will be included in the My Future Fund Account portal?

To open a student’s My Future Fund Account, the WISD will utilize directory information as reported in the Michigan Student Data System. Families will have the option to share additional information in order to receive My Future Fund communications and support the evaluation of the program’s efficacy. 

What if a family doesn’t want their student to have a My Future Fund Account?

Families have the option to opt out prior to the accounts being created. They also can request to have their student removed from the active account list at any time. They must complete the Opt Out Request form

What if a parent/guardian requested that a student’s directory information not be shared with 3rd parties or is participating in the Confidentiality Program Act and would like their student to receive a My Future Fund Account?

Families should complete the Release of Information Form in order to activate their students' accounts. 

How does the WISD plan to increase the amount added to My Future Fund Accounts?

By seeking funds from philanthropy, governmental support and private donations, the WISD hopes to add money to the omnibus account and those shares can then be connected to students’ My Future Fund Accounts to grow their investments.

What happens to the money if a student opts out or doesn’t access the funds for post-secondary expenses? 

The shares allocated to that student will go back into the larger pool of funds to be redistributed to current or future students.  

Do families have to report their My Future Fund Account on their taxes or when applying for public benefits?

While the funds are held in the pooled account, families do not need to report this on their taxes or when applying for public benefits. Once a student requests a withdrawal from their My Future Fund Account, then they will be responsible for any related tax or benefit requirements. More information will be provided when students are closer to withdrawing their funds for qualified college or career training costs. 

What if a family already has a Michigan Education Savings Program investment account or other type of account for college and career training expenses?

This is great! Individual MESP accounts can be linked in the Family Portal and families can see their savings in one location. 

What if a family’s religious beliefs do not allow earnings on the principal (original amount of money)? 

There are alternative options available that the My Future Fund program can go through with families. Please reach out to

Why is the starting deposit $25? 

This starting deposit is meant to be a kick-off for planning and saving for college and career training expenses. Research has shown that even having a small amount of money set aside specifically for education after high school increases the likelihood that students enroll and persist in post-secondary education. In addition, the My Future Fund program hopes to raise additional funds to increase the amount available for students to use for their college and career training costs.  

Why will some students receive an additional $475 deposit?

As part of their commitment to equity, the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners has designated additional My Future Fund allocations for students from low-income families. 

How will you determine who receives the additional $475 deposit?

We will use students’ Supplemental Nutrition Eligibility (SNE) status in the Michigan Student Data System as reported in the Fall Pupil Membership Count of the student’s My Future Fund Account enrollment year. This is what is used to report a student’s individual eligibility for free and reduced lunch based on a Free and Reduced Lunch Application, Household Information Report or Direct Certification process. In order to check a student’s eligibility, the My Future Fund program will need parents/guardians to complete a permission form. 

What if a student becomes eligible for free and reduced lunch after their My Future Fund Account cohort enrollment year?

The $475 deposit is based on a student’s eligibility in the year their cohort is enrolled. Students who individually become eligible for free and reduced lunch after the Fall Pupil Membership Count for their cohort year are not guaranteed the additional $475 deposit. This criteria may change depending on funding availability. 

How will the $475 deposit be determined if an entire school or district receives free and reduced lunch?

Because the pandemic relief funding criteria is based on an individual family’s income, the eligibility for the $475 must be determined by a student’s individual free and reduced lunch status. For schools where everyone receives free lunch, this eligibility will be determined by the Household Information Report that families typically receive at the beginning of the school year.   

How can families claim the $475 deposit?

A parent/guardian must complete a permission form so My Future Fund staff can check a student’s eligibility. If a student is eligible, then the $475 will be added to their My Future Fund Account. 

Can individuals make deposits into individual students’ My Future Fund Accounts?

No. If families would like to save for future college and career training expenses, they can work with the Michigan Educational Savings Program to set-up an individual investment account for their child(ren). Individual accounts can be linked to the My Future Fund portal.  

What are qualified college and career training expenses?

Qualified higher education expenses include tuition, certain room and board expenses, fees, and the cost of books, supplies and equipment (including computers, internet access fees, software or printers) needed as part of the program at an eligible educational institution. 

Can these funds only be used at Michigan post-secondary institutions?

No. Funds can be used at any college, university, vocational or technical school deemed eligible to participate in federal student aid programs. You can search for “Federal School Code Search” on the Federal Student Aid website to determine if a school is eligible. 

Will having a My Future Fund account reduce or impact a student’s financial aid eligibility?

Having a My Future Fund account should have a minimal impact on a student’s financial aid eligibility. As students near high school graduation, the My Future Fund program will provide the most up to date information regarding their My Future Fund Account and applying for financial aid. 

By the time they graduate from high school, how much money will students have through My Future Fund to use for college and career training? 

The program does not have a set dollar amount for what will be available. The final amount will be dependent both on future bonus deposits and earnings or loss on the principal (original deposits). 

Who guarantees these dollars will be available to students to use for college and career training expenses after high school?

Actual dollars are being invested in the My Future Fund omnibus account in real time. Because the funds are held in an investment account, the final dollar amount that will be available is not guaranteed. 

How long is the program funded for?

The program is currently funded for four years. 

What plans are in place to extend the timeline for this program?

The program will seek other funding sources to support the program, which will include philanthropy, government and individual donations. 

How will My Future Fund educate families and students about this program?

Through partnerships with schools and community organizations,  My Future Fund staff and volunteers will attend school and community events, will be available for outreach activities and through an on-going presence online and in the community.  

How will the My Future Fund program build trust with communities?

My Future Fund program staff understands the importance of relationship building and demonstrating trustworthiness through their actions. The program has a Community Advisory Committee, made up of people from across Washtenaw County, that is providing important insight on working with students and families. Staff will also work closely with community stakeholders, school staff and other trusted community members to develop relationships, listen carefully and thoughtfully build connections across the County.

What if I still have a question?

Please contact My Future Fund or (734) 302-2626.

Current Participating Districts & Public-School Academies

Ann Arbor Public Schools
Chelsea Schools
Dexter Community Schools
Honey Creek Community School
Lincoln Consolidated Schools
Manchester Community Schools
Milan Area Schools
Saline Area Schools
Washtenaw Intermediate School District
Whitmore Lake Public Schools
Ypsilanti Community Schools

And more coming soon…

ADA & Accessibility

Our School Strives To Ensure Our Website Is Accessible To All Our Visitors 

Washtenaw ISD is committed to providing a website that is fully accessible and we are currently in the process of developing a new website to better meet the needs of our customers. Our new website will include improvements to ADA compliance and accessibility, and during this transition, we remain committed to maintaining our existing website's accessibility and usability. 

ADA Compliance

Non Discrimination

It is the policy and commitment of the Washtenaw Intermediate School District not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, age, height, weight, familial status, marital status, genetic information, sexual orientation or any legally protected characteristic, in its educational programs, activities, admissions, or employment policies in accordance with Title IX of the 1972 Educational Amendments, executive order 11246 as amended, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and all other pertinent state and Federal regulations.

Non Discrimination Information

ADA and Title IX Coordinator ADA and Title IX Coordinator
Brian Marcel
Associate Superintendent
1819 S. Wagner Road 
Ann Arbor, MI  48103
(734) 994-8100 ext. 1402
Cassandra Harmon-Higgins
Executive Director, HR & Legal Services
1819 S. Wagner Road 
Ann Arbor, MI  48103
(734) 994-8100 ext. 1311