Arizona Universities Expand AZ Earn to Learn Need-Based Financial Aid Program

Monday, December 2, 2013

Katrina Verduzco hadn't thought much about going to college until a representative from the University of Arizona came to talk to her class at Flowing Wells High School. Then everything changed.

After hearing about opportunities at the University, Verduzco became determined to become a Wildcat and the first person in her family to go college.

She also became determined not to burden her family with college expenses, and she spent much of her high school senior year searching for scholarships and financial aid opportunities.

Her search led her to AZ Earn to Learn, an innovative need-based financial aid program launched last year by the UA, Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University in partnership with Live the Solution, an Arizona nonprofit.

The unique savings and financial education program was designed to provide financial support for incoming college freshmen from low-income families, while teaching them good savings habits.

The program recently was awarded a second round of funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/Assets for Independence program, more than doubling its total funds and its reach to potential participants.

Now funded with $3.47 million in grants, AZ Earn to Learn is expected to be able to serve 1,565 students across Arizona.

"AZ Earn to Learn is an innovative initiative that not only provides critical need-based aid, but also helps students prepare for the financial and academic rigor of university life," said Arizona Board of Regents chairman Rick Myers. "I am extremely proud that our state universities are leading the nation in this unique effort and am thrilled that the program is expanding."

Read the rest of this November 27 UANews article at the link below. Mike Staten, the CALS assistant dean for careers, commerce and industry, is principal investigator on UA's AZ Earn to Learn grant.

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