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Dec 10, 2012 9:05 AM

AZ students can earn up to $4,000 college scholarship

TUCSON- San Miguel High School student Jose Gracia has studied hard for the past four years and he is ready for even more work.

"I'm looking in to attending the University of Arizona because of their engineering program," Gracia says.

But that education comes with a cost, an expense that could make or break Gracia's ability to enroll. "I would hate not being able to go to college, especially just because of the costs," Gracia says.

He is hoping to get some help from a new match-savings program called "AZ Earn to Learn". "For those families who felt like saving for a higher education was a daunting task, this is a pretty good deal I think," says Michael Staten, Executive Director of the University's "Take Charge America Institute for Consumer Financial Education and Research".

Here's how it works.

Every month, for a minimum of six months, students will have to save at least $25 in a special account. For every dollar they end up saving, they can qualify for $8 in scholarship money.

Students can earn up to $4,000 for the school year.

"We're excited about how it might boost the chances of families to attend the University of Arizona," Staten says. "Families who maybe thought it was never possible to send their child to school before because they couldn't afford it."

Gracia says the money will give him more time to focus on his studies. "Without that $4,000 I'd probably have to work a little more to pay everything off."

The University of Arizona hopes to help about 460 families. The scholarships are also available for students looking to enroll at ASU or NAU.

Eligible participants can begin enrolling in AZ Earn to Learn immediately. For more information head to: www.azearntolearn.org

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