Senators’ Earn to Learn Act creates a college-matched savings program and provides financial training for students
WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) introduced the Earn to Learn Act, legislation to responsibly reduce student loan debt and help make college more affordable for students. The senators’ bill establishes a college matched-savings program that helps qualifying low-income students, including adult learners, pay for tuition, books, fees, and other education-related expenses.
“We must do better to ensure American students have the skills and training necessary to pursue good-paying jobs that keep up with our changing economy,” said Senator Romney. “I’m proud to join Senator Sinema in reintroducing this legislation, which will help students pursue their education by equipping them with the financial resources and knowledge they need to attend college or career and technical schools without the burden of being saddled with debt when they graduate.”
“Like many Arizonans, education was my key to opportunity. We’re responsibly reducing student loan debt, making college more affordable, and empowering Arizona students to succeed,” said Senator Sinema.
“Earn to Learn has been uplifting underserved Arizona students to reach their dreams though a college education for over a decade,” said Kate Hoffman, Earn to Learn founder and CEO. “I commend the bipartisan, bicameral group of legislators on their efforts to generate economic opportunity across the country by expanding this innovative program to students across the country.”
Romney and Sinema’s Earn to Learn Act establishes educational savings accounts to allow students to save for higher education. For every $1 a student contributes, the amount is matched by an additional $8 from the participating state or non-profit. This money will go to the student’s chosen educational institution once the student enrolls. Participating states and non-profits are awarded grants to provide the tuition assistance and financial literacy training.
The legislation is modeled off the Earn to Learn program, which has a nearly decade-long track record of helping underserved and underrepresented students access and complete a college education. Earn to Learn scholars, who must qualify for Pell Grant aid, have a first-year retention rate that approaches 90%, and the majority graduate with little or no student loan debt. The Earn to Learn Act will create an estimated 250,000 additional college scholarships in the first five years.
Text of Earn to Learn Act can be found here.