Studies related to education have shown that students from families with a dedicated college savings account are four times more likely to attend college. But for those students who have a college savings account in their name, like the savings accounts established through the Matched College Savings Program (MCSP), they are seven times as likely to attend college
ICW’s MCSP rewards very low income students – at or below 200% of poverty level – for saving for their college education. Despite the financial challenges these ICW students and their families have faced, they have committed to the goal of earning a college degree, and by doing so, are making an investment in themselves, their communities and the future.
Through ICW’s MCSP, students at this income level have the opportunity to bridge some of the typical $8,000 per year gap between available financial aid (from all sources) and the cost of attending college. In addition to easing the financial burdens of tuition and reducing the amount of debt upon graduation for these students, the MCSP also teaches basic financial skills and reinforces the importance of goal-setting and financial planning so that they can begin building assets.
HOW THE PROGRAM WORKS
If private matching funds can be raised, up to $2.5 million per year of federal funds are available to Washington to help as many as 1,250 students per year.
- Students enrolled in the MCSP save a minimum of $25-$37 per month, totaling a minimum savings of $1,332
- Student savings are matched by both federal (up to $2,000 per student) and private (up to $4,665 per student) funds at a 5:1 ratio
- After at least 6 months of consistent savings, students can withdraw MCSP funds to pay for tuition and college-related supplies such as books or computers
- By saving consistently and earning matching funds, students have nearly $8,000 to apply toward a college education
MCSP AT ICW
After four years of success, the Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges and Universities introduced ICW to the MCSP. Immediately, ICW recognized the MCSP’s tremendous potential for impacting student lives in an immediate as well as long-term way.
To ensure a successful beginning, the program was intentionally limited to just two of our 10 member colleges.
Over a three-year period, ICW hopes to enroll 100 students in the MCSP, leveraging $200,000 in federal funds.
ICW is the first organization in Washington to offer educational asset building programs for students.
MCSP has a lot of appeal to individual, corporate or foundation donors that value giving students a ‘hand-up’ with their education versus a hand out. Through the MCSP, students learn good savings habits that help them meet their goal of going to college. And that their savings are matched is an added incentive to stay in school and complete their education.
ICW MCSP PARTNERS
- Community and Shelter Assistance Corp (CASA) of Oregon – CASA applies for federal funds, manages both federal and private match funds and assists colleges with enrollment and administrative services. As one of the largest Individual Development Account (IDA) networks in the country and the largest in the Pacific NW, CASA has a successful 10+ year record of offering similar programs with our Oregon counterpart, Oregon Independent College Fund, a smaller program at Mt. Hood Community College and with the VIDA program, a home ownership program for low income Oregon residents. CASA is located in the Portland, OR area. Click to learn more.
- Local/regional financial institutions – Banks and/or credit unions are recruited to participate in this program in two ways: by hosting student custodial savings accounts and by providing the required financial education course for students.
- Private donors – Individual, corporate and foundation donors generously give to provide the private match needed to leverage federal funds and help our students. The following organizations and individuals have sponsored MCSP in Washington:
BNSF Railway Foundation
Violet A. Boyer
Council for Independent Colleges/Foundation for Independent Higher Education
Kris and Oscar Gonzales
Kenneth J. and Beryl N. Goodchild
Seattle Sonoran Foundation
Steven T. Seward
Wells Fargo Foundation
U.S Bancorp Foundation
The Wollenberg Foundation