Dec 4, 2012 5:04 PM
TUCSON- Arizona's three state universities are partnering up with Live the Solution, a Arizona-based non-profit organization, to launch "AZ Earn to Learn," a need-based financial aid program that pairs $3.1 million in scholarships with more than 700 students from low-income families.
Participation in AZ Earn to Learn includes a savings plan and completion of financial literacy and college readiness training.
AZ Earn to Learn is funded with $1.55 million in federal grants from the United States Department of Health and Human Services/Assets for Independence (AFI) program offered to the three in-state universities, also each will provide matching funds.
"AZ Earn to Learn is a groundbreaking initiative that will provide critical need-based aid to students who otherwise might not have access to higher education, better preparing them for the financial and academic rigor of university life," said Arizona Board of Regents Chair Rick Myers.
To be eligible for AZ Earn to Learn, students must meet these requirements:
• Students' families must earn less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
• Participants must save at least $25 per month in a special Individual Development Account (IDA) for a minimum of six months after enrolling in the program.
• Participants must complete financial education classes and receive one-on-one financial coaching and college readiness training.
Eligible students will then qualify to receive $8 for every $1 they save. $4,000 in matching funds - $2,000 from the federal grant and $2,000 from the university - can be used for tuition, books and approved education-related expenses at one of the three state universities.
Alliance Bank of Arizona will serve as one of the strategic financial institution partners for AZ Earn to Learn, training their customer service associates on the program and offering students unique accounts with no fees. The Arizona Community Foundation will serve as a communication partner for AZ Earn to Learn.
"Alliance Bank is proud to be part of this innovative program," said Alliance Bank of Arizona Chief Executive Officer Jim Lundy.
Eligible participants can begin enrolling in AZ Earn to Learn immediately. For complete eligibility guidelines, program requirements and a step-by-step application, please visit www.AZEarnToLearn.org.