Earn to Learn Receives $325K Grant to Launch Program for Youth Pursuing Postsecondary Learning

Earn to Learn, the nation’s largest matched-savings program, will launch a pilot program for youth previously in foster care and who have experienced homelessness to assist them in pursuing higher education. The pilot, funded by a $325,000 grant from the Garcia Family Foundation, will provide scholarships and support to an estimated 200 students attending Arizona colleges.

“Every Arizona student deserves an opportunity to further their education beyond high school,” said Kate Hoffman, founder and CEO of Earn to Learn. “But pursuing higher education is complicated and costly. Thanks to the generous funding from the Garcia Family Foundation, this pilot program will help us to assist youth who have been in the foster care system or have experienced homelessness.”

The grant will fund a two-year pilot, during which Earn to Learn will explore strategies to engage and support formerly homeless and foster youth in postsecondary enrollment and attainment. This will include matching students’ dollars saved at an 8:1 ratio through scholarships. Participants will receive money management, financial empowerment training and success coaching to give students the best chance at future success.

“These students face some of the most difficult obstacles to educational attainment and success. Earn to Learn has years of experience helping students in poverty and those from underrepresented groups as they matriculate to higher education,” said Jon D. Ehlinger, president of the Garcia Family Foundation. “Their work in supporting students and helping them to graduate debt-free is invaluable, and we’re very excited about the potential of this program to not only help these 200 students, but create a future, scalable model for these youth in Arizona and nationally.”

Earn to Learn combines student savings with scholarships, financial education and college success coaching to help low-to-moderate-income and under-represented students obtain a college education and graduate workforce-ready with little to no student loan debt. Throughout nine cohorts, 2,224 Earn to Learn scholars have invested $3.8 million in their education, earning $31 million in additional aid.


About Julie Coleman

Julie Coleman is a contributing writer for Frontdoors Media. She is Principal of Julie Coleman Consulting, providing strategic philanthropy consulting services for individuals, families, businesses, foundations and nonprofit organizations.
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