SaveSmart Rewards Students’ Personal Savings with Tuition Assistance Grants

January 26, 2011 § Leave a comment


Last year we were really excited to partner with I Know I Can, the big deal educational access nonprofit that’s been making college possible for Columbus City Schools students since 1988.  Their motto is “Dream Big. Work Hard. We’ll Help” – sounds like a good companion to ECDI’s mission, right? Our loan clients are scores of hard-working, determined folks with a goal who found themselves on a not-so-level playing field. And while we tend to hang our hat on our microenterprise development programs here on Old Leonard Avenue, ECDI is about increasing access to assets of all kinds, including education.

Together with I Know I Can, we started the Save Smart program.  Low-income college-bound students had to meet a personal savings goal of $500 over a period of months.  Once they reach their savings goal, a wonderful thing happens.

Their $500 is matched with $1,200 from I Know I Can.

Then, their hard-earned dollars are matched with $1,000 from ECDI, through a federal Assets for Independence grant.

These students dreamed big. They minded their GPA, tackled hairy college applications, took on beastly standardized tests. They learned to save their pennies from after-school jobs. The reward? $2,700 for tuition assistance, textbooks, and other college expenses.

Last week, ECDI disbursed the first round of grants since the partnership’s launch, providing 41 students with $61,500 to put towards their college-related expenses. We’re just bursting with pride for these students!

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