Opportunity L.A.

ATTENTION PARENTS!

The Opportunity L.A (OLA) program is available to all LAUSD first-graders, providing a FREE Child Saving Account (CSA) to help you and your family save for college.

About Opportunity L.A.

Opportunity L.A. (OLA) is a free college savings account with an initial $50 deposit for Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) first-grade students. 

Learn more about Opportunity LA

Did you know?

Students with college savings are:

  • 3 times more likely to go to college
  • 4 times more likely to graduate from college

Benefits of an Opportunity LA Account

  • A children’s savings account can help you and your child save money for their education after high school
  • First grade LAUSD students will automatically receive a savings account with a $50 initial deposit
  • Easy access to make deposits in person, at a branch or online
  • Savings accounts are available to students regardless of student or parent’s income, background, or immigration status
  • Opportunities for additional savings rewards

Accessing Your Account

OLA Account Login page
  1. To begin, visit https://mysavingsaccount.com/account/ola
  2. Select the option to register on the right side of the screen. Provide the Citi Start Saving® Account Number, the Date of Birth and the Zip Code for the Participant. Once finished, the User clicks “Next” to move to the next step.
  3. Upon click, a pop up window will appear on screen with the Program Rules.  The User must read through the rules and scroll to the bottom of the window to click either “Accept” or Cancel. 
  4. The User will create an Online Account Record by providing information for the fields of email, username, password, password confirmation. Once finished, the User clicks “Next” to move to the next step. 
  5. Follow the steps to activate the student’s account, including verifying your identity, setting up the account with a username and password, and creating security questions.
  6. Upon click, you will receive the Confirmation screen and may then “Log In” to the Participant Portal by clicking the “Login” button using the username and password created in Step 4. Parents and guardians will input their first and last name, as well as their relationship to the student.
  7. Access the student’s account to make deposits, check the balance, and look for savings rewards.

Register or log in to your OLA Account

Definitions for Program Guidelines

  1. Opportunity L.A (OLA): Program name for the City of Los Angeles Children's Savings Account program.  
  2. Children’s Savings Accounts (CSAs): Long-term, restricted savings accounts established for first-grade students enrolled in participating LAUSD schools to support student’s post-secondary education.
  3. County Student (“County Student”): CSA Program-eligible first graders enrolled in LAUSD schools that reside in the unincorporated areas of the County and cities outside the City of Los Angeles.
  4. City Student (“City Student”): CSA Program-eligible first graders enrolled in LAUSD schools that reside within the boundaries of the City of Los Angeles.
  5. Custodial Account (“Custodial Account”): Financial account that incorporates CSAs, established for the benefit of the Student. Administered and managed by the CSA Program in accordance with the program Memorandum Of Agreement (MOA).
  6. Incentive (“Incentive”): Any additional CSA funding, not including family or friend’s contributions, beyond the CSA Seed Funds that may be contributed to CSAs based upon specific criteria established and mutually agreed upon by all the Parties, (as defined in the MOA). Students may earn Incentives only while enrolled in an eligible LAUSD school. Use of all Incentives are subject to the requirements as set forth in Exhibit A, which is attached and incorporated by reference.
  7. Legal Guardian (“Legal Guardian”): Someone who is not the child’s parent, however, has legal custody of the child and can provide health, education, and financial decisions on behalf of the child.
  8. Non-Program Contributions or Non-Program Funds (“Non-Program Contribution or Non-Program Funds”): Deposits of funds contributed to a CSA by a person or organization not at the direction or associated with the CSA Program for the benefit of the student.
  9. Participating Schools (“Participating Schools”): LAUSD Schools selected for the CSA Program each Year and subject to the Program requirements in accordance with Section VII – School Selection Plan below.
  10. Program Contributions or Program Funds (“Program Contribution or Program Funds”): Initial Seed Deposit, Incentives, and any growth amount accrued by the Custodial Account for the benefit of the Students.
  11. School Selection Plan (“School Selection Plan”): Yearly plan used to identify LAUSD schools to participate in the CSA Program as mutually agreed upon by all the Parties and in accordance with Section VII – School Selection Plan below.
  12. Seed Funding (“Seed Funding”): Initial funding to establish CSAs for the benefit of Students as agreed upon by all the Parties.
  13. Student or Participant (“Student or Participant”): A City or County Student that is the intended beneficiary of the CSA and a) currently attends an LAUSD school or b) graduated from an LAUSD high school.
  14. Year (“Year”): July 1st to June 30th.
  15. Escheat: A legal process that transfers ownership of abandoned property in this case CSA program funds, to the state in accordance with state law. Before the state can take full ownership, it must attempt to find the owners (Student, Student parent or legal guardian) and provide an opportunity for the Student to claim their funds.

Frequently Asked Questions

About the Program

How do I know if my first-grader is part of this program?

Beginning March 2022, all LAUSD first graders will have an account automatically opened for them, unless their parent/guardian opted out. If you have any questions about accessing your student's account please send us an email at cifd.opportunityla@lacity.org

What is the cost to participate in Opportunity LA (OLA)?

There is no cost to a student or a family to participate in Opportunity LA. 

What is needed to register a Student Account?

An  Opportunity L.A (OLA) account has already been opened in the student’s name. To register the account, log into https://mysavingsaccount.com/account/ola.

You will need to provide the following information :

  • Student account number found in the welcome letter (mailed to you)
  • Student’s date of birth
  • Zipcode
  • Email address

If you have questions regarding the account number please contact us at cifd.opportunityla@lacity.org.

What can you use these savings for?

Program funds may be used for pre-college education expenses and post-secondary education. Qualified account uses will be determined by the Program and include, but are not limited to:

  • Pre-college expenses such as college application fees, ACT/SAT testing fees or preparatory classes
  • Pre-enrollment enrichment services such as “summer bridge” programs, deposits for on-campus room and board
  • Post-secondary expenses such as tuition, mandatory fees, books, supplies (including computer equipment)
  • Post-secondary education includes: colleges; universities; vocational schools; and any two or four-year degree programs from accredited institutions.

 

To be eligible for a qualified account use, the participant must either be currently enrolled in or graduate from an LAUSD high school. Certain restrictions apply. 

How it Works

Can funds be withdrawn from this Program account?

In the case of a family emergency, the student or parent/guardian may request an early withdrawal of some or all contributions in the student’s account. **Restrictions apply.

What happens to the Opportunity L.A (OLA) Student account, if the Student transfers from one school to another?

If a student who has an Opportunity L.A (OLA) account transfers to another LAUSD school, the student’s school information is updated and the OLA account continues as is. If the student leaves LAUSD, then the student’s OLA account will be closed. Online viewing access of a student’s OLA account will be terminated as of the date of account closure. If any Non-Program Contributions were made to the OLA account, a check payable to the student’s name will be mailed to the address on record within twenty (20) business days of the OLA account closure. All incentives and Program Contributions are returned to the Program. The parent or legal guardian of the student will be asked to destroy and discard the student’s account ID Card.

If the student who previously participated in the Program returns to an LAUSD school, a new OLA account may be established for the student and, depending on funding availability, the initial $50 deposit will be credited to the new OLA account. Please contact the OLA program manager at cifd.opportunityla@lacity.org for additional inquiries.

Does the program offer an interest savings rate?

The OLA program will not offer an interest savings rate; however, it will have a growth amount incentive which will provide additional saving funds. The OLA Program accounts will provide other means of growth which will function similarly to interest on a bank account with or without making deposits to the account.

How does Opportunity LA differ or work with ScholarShare 529 accounts?

Opportunity LA differs from ScholarShare 529 in that our program is an opt-out model, the accounts are accessible to anyone regardless of their legal status, the program will not affect a family’s public benefits, and is completely free for families. ScholarShare 529 models are typically opt-in, gain a higher interest but will likely be reportable for tax and benefit purposes. ScholarShare 529 accounts may also have penalties for early withdrawals.

Can the funds be transferred into a 529 account?

Contributions made by parents, family, friends or legal guardians may be transferred to a 529 account upon request by the participant. All program contributions including the initial deposit and any incentive that the student has earned from Opportunity LA while in the program cannot be transferred and will stay in the custodial account. The student account will remain open unless a parent or legal guardian requests to close the account at which point they must fill out a student account closure form. For more information on contributions see Program Contribution and Incentives.

Once a Student Account is Open

How to make a deposit

Did you know that you and your loved ones can make deposits into an Opportunity L.A (OLA) account? All you need is the student’s name and account number. This can be done in a variety of ways

In-person at a local Los Angeles Citibank branch

Step 1: Enter your address.

Step 2: Select Filter.

Step 3: Select Branches and Apply Filter. 

You can make cash deposits, with a valid government-issued photo ID, and one additional identifying document.                                                     

Please note that Citibank Branches are limited and not accessible to all local communities. For more information about finding the nearest Citibank branch, you can use the Citibank Branch Locator https://online.citi.com/US/ag/citibank-location-finder or Google search.

By mail: 

Make a check or money order payable to your child’s name, include their account number in the memo section of the check, and mail to: 

Citi Children’s Savings Accounts 
P.O. Box 790020 
St. Louis, MO 63179-9966 

Incentives 2021-2022

Tax Time Savings Matching Incentive 

Students with an Opportunity LA account are able to receive a dollar-for-dollar Tax Time Savings match of up to $25 dollars when their parents or guardians file their taxes with Free Tax Prep Los Angeles and make a deposit of at least $5 during tax season into their OLA account. Tax Time Savings Flyer

OLA Account Registration Incentive

The program will reward participants that register their Opportunity LA account for the first time with a $25 savings reward.

How do I make a deposit using Bill Pay?

Look for the Merchant Name Opportunity LA (OLA) in your bank’s Bill Pay service. You can set up a one-time payment or recurring payments to the Participant’s account record using this service. * Please note that the Bill Pay takes approximately 4-6 weeks for the initial setup to process. 

If a student participates, will it affect benefits received? Such as Calfresh or WIC?

No, the funds are held by the City of Los Angeles for the student and cannot be counted as part of household income.

What if I cannot find "OLA" as a merchant in my bank’s Bill Pay?

If you need to set up the OLA Program as a Bill Pay merchant at your financial institution, follow the steps below:

Log into your bank’s online portal and proceed to the Bill Pay section.

Enter and save the Bill Pay merchant details as follows for all fields as applicable:

Merchant Name — Enter Program Name (Opportunity LA)

Account # — Enter your student’s XX-digit account number (provided in the welcome letter)

Merchant Address — Enter the address: P.O. Box 790020 St. Louis, MO 62179-9966

Merchant Phone Number — XXX-XXX-XXXX

Follow the prompts to add the merchant and set up a one-time or recurring payment. Once you have entered this merchant in your bank’s Bill Pay section, you will not have to enter the merchant’s information again and all payments will be sent electronically.

Contact

For additional information about the program, contact us at: cifd.opportunityla@lacity.org (213) 820-4283