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Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility & Participation

What is Future Bound Miami?

Future Bound Miami is a savings program developed by a trusted group of organizations from Miami to increase the number of our students who plan to attend college or vocational schools after graduating from high school. Future Bound Miami hopes to achieve this by (1) sponsoring universal children’s savings accounts, and (2) assisting families with financial education and developing savings habits among children and parents/guardians.

Who is eligible to participate in the Future Bound Miami Program?

For the 2019-2020 academic year, all kindergarten students attending a Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) district elementary school in the City of Miami that feeds into one of the five public high schools within the City of Miami are eligible to participate. You can find the list of participating schools on the homepage.

How is my child’s school involved in the Future Bound Miami Program?

Future Bound Miami works with M-DCPS and the participating schools to share information about the Future Bound Miami Program, support families to participate, and coordinate financial education opportunities for both students and parents/guardians.

Does immigration status affect my child’s ability to participate?

No. Immigration status does not impact a student’s or family’s ability to participate because Future Bound Miami accounts are in the name of and managed by Catalyst Miami, not any individual person.

Does having a Future Bound Miami account affect qualification for public benefits?

No. Having an account does not impact a student’s or family’s application for public benefits because Future Bound Miami accounts are in the name of and managed by Catalyst Miami, not any individual person.

I already have a Florida Prepaid College Plan, a Florida 529 Savings Plan and/or was planning to start one for my student. Can we still participate?

Yes, you can still be a part of the Future Bound Miami Program in addition to other college/education savings plans.

My child is enrolled in a participating Future Bound Miami school but has already completed kindergarten. Can they still participate?

No. As of right now, the Future Bound Miami program is designed to begin when a child is in kindergarten.

How do savings—even modest savings—make a difference in a child’s ability to go pursue post-secondary education?

Children who have a savings account and a plan for postsecondary education are more likely to attend and graduate with a postsecondary credential (Associate Degree, Trade Certification, etc.). Research shows that children with a savings account of just $1 to $499 are three times more likely to enroll in college and more than four times more likely to graduate with a degree. The hope is that participating students’ Future Bound Miami accounts will grow over time through additional rewards and community support, making post-secondary education a part of every child’s future.

Account Activation, Deposits, & Incentives

How do I activate my student’s account?

Activate your student’s Future Bound Miami account online by logging into the (M-DCPS) Parent Portal http://www.dadeschools.net/parents.asp during the activation period between March 16 and April 17, 2020.

If you don’t have easy access to the internet, please contact your child’s kindergarten teacher to use a computer at your child’s school or visit your local public library to access a computer lab for free.

For a complete list of public library branches, please visit https://www1.mdpls.org/webservices/locator/

Where are the funds held?

Funds will be held at the South Florida Educational Federal Credit Union (SFEFCU).

What type of account is it?

This is a depositonly savings account, which means the funds remain secure until the student graduates from an M-DCPS public high school. Future Bound Miami holds the accounts for the benefit of the student. Your student will be named as beneficiary on the account.

What information does Future Bound Miami receive about me and my child?

Future Bound Miami will receive limited information only after the parent/guardian gives permission.

M-DCPS will share the following pieces of information with Future Bound Miami for every participating student only after a parent authorizes M-DCPS to do so during the Account Activation Period on the M-DCPS Parent Portal:

  • Student and parent identification numbers unique to the program
  • Student’s full name
  • Student’s birth date
  • Student’s home address
  • Whether the student’s home address changes
  • Student’s home phone number
  • Student’s school name
  • Student’s current grade level
  • Language(s) spoken at student’s home
  • If the student participates in the Free & Reduced Meals Program
  • Transfers made to other schools, if any, both inside and outside the M-DCPS system.

Future Bound Miami also receives the following information for up to two parents/guardians per participating student:

  • Parent/guardian full name
  • Parent/guardian email address
  • Parent/guardian cell and/or other phone number
Do I have to provide the student’s Social Security Number or other identifying information?

No. Catalyst Miami (the nonprofit organization managing Future Bound Miami) is the owner of the account and it is held for the benefit of the student. The information above is the only information provided to Future Bound Miami by M-DCPS after a parent/guardian gives us permission to access the information during account activation. No information will be shared outside of authorized program partners.

What is VistaShare, and how is it related to the Future Bound Miami Program?

VistaShare is a technology company contracted by Catalyst Miami (the nonprofit organization managing Future Bound Miami) that provides software to securely store the personal information about children and parents/guardians and to create Future Bound Miami accounts. The VistaShare software, called the Savings Tracker, also allows parents/guardians and family members of participating children to view their savings account balances of both deposits and incentives earned.

What personal information will VistaShare receive about my child and me?

VistaShare will have access to the software that stores participant information so that it can provide technical support. The software stores the basic information about families provided by the M-DCPS, the value of the incentive funds allotted to each participant, and the deposits made into and value of the account that a family has in their Future Bound Miami account.

Who can inquire about or view my student’s account?

Only parents/guardians and Catalyst Miami (the nonprofit organization managing Future Bound Miami) will be able to access the Future Bound Miami Savings Tracker by signing onto the M-DCPS Parent Portal that will allow them to view deposit records, incentives earned and update addresses.

What fees will be charged to the account?

The account is not subject to fees.

Is there a minimum deposit amount?

No. Deposits of any amount are accepted and there is no minimum balance required to participate.

How do I make deposits to my student’s account?

You can make deposits in person at any SFEFCU branch. SFEFCU also has branches at a number of high schools in Miami-Dade County during the school year.

For a complete list of branch locations and hours, please visit bit.ly/sfefcubranches

Does the account earn interest, and if so, how is it paid?

Yes, accounts earn interest. Interest will be compounded and credited to the savings account on a quarterly basis.

Do I or the student have to claim the interest earned as income?

Catalyst Miami (the nonprofit organization managing Future Bound Miami) owns the account and any interest earned will not need to be claimed as income for the student or family.

Are my deposits tax-deductible?

No.

How can students earn incentive rewards?

Each school year, you will receive information about specific incentive rewards the student can earn during that academic year. For the 2019-2020 academic year, an initial deposit amount—a “seed” incentive—is placed into an account at The Miami Foundation in the name of your student. For kindergarten students attending a participating school in the City of Miami, the seed incentive will be provided by the City of Miami. Parents/guardians, family, friends, etc. may make additional deposits into an account at any SFEFCU branch. No withdrawals may be made by anyone during the course of the program, unless a student leaves the school district and parents/guardians choose to close the account.

How are incentive and deposit funds invested and managed?

All incentive rewards are invested and managed by The Miami Foundation. Students do not earn any interest on incentive rewards. Once participating students graduate from an M-DCPS high school, they are eligible to receive all incentive funds earned throughout their academic career. Funds deposited by parents, family, friends, etc. are held and managed by the South Florida Educational Federal Credit Union (SFEFCU). Although the funds at SFEFCU are not invested in the market, they do earn interest. Interest rates vary and are calculated on a quarterly basis. Each quarter you can log into the Future Bound Miami Savings Tracker to see the amount of interest earned from your deposits at SFEFCU.

Account Closing & Withdrawals

How can funds in the account be used?

Funds can be used for any qualifying educational expenses after high school graduation. Such expenses may include, but are not limited to: tuition, mandatory fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for enrollment or attendance, or for any other necessary cost of attending school, including travel to and from school, or for school application fees.

How do I make withdrawals from a Future Bound Miami account?

Future Bound Miami Accounts are deposit-only accounts. These accounts are meant to save funds for the student’s postsecondary education without being touched until completion of high school. As high school graduation nears, information will be provided to explain the withdrawal process.

Are there penalties for early withdrawals?

If a student leaves the M-DCPS district prior to completing the program and the parent/guardian chooses to close the student’s account, all non-incentive dollars earned during their school career will be returned to the student. However, all incentive dollars earned through participation in the program will be returned to the Future Bound Miami Program.

What if we move?

If the student moves within the M-DCPS district, he or she will still be considered a participant in the program and can continue to make deposits. The student will be eligible for reward incentives if the Future Bound Miami Program is available at that school. If moving outside the district, the student will still have access to his or her account but will not be eligible for rewards incentives. Update your address by contacting Future Bound Miami or using the Future Bound Miami Savings Tracker on the M-DCPS Parent Portal.