By Mark Brodie
A program based in Arizona that helps students afford college could be going national.
Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Mitt Romney have sponsored a bill in the U.S. Senate that would expand the Earn to Learn program to the rest of the country.
The founder of the Tucson-based nonprofit describes it as a “multi-investor strategy to financing higher education, where the student is the lead investor.” Essentially, the students set aside some money; they then get an 8-1 match. In Arizona, that matching money comes from the institutions themselves, along with the private and philanthropic sectors.
Kate Hoffman is the CEO and founder of Earn to Learn. The Show spoke with her for more about the program.
And among those students who have used the program is Sam Sneed.
He just graduated from the University of Arizona and plans to start in the school’s Master of Public Health program in the fall.
Sneed was born in Nogales, Arizona, and grew up there and in Nogales, Sonora, where he lived through second grade. He then moved to Tucson to live with an aunt until the end of fifth grade, and then lived with his mom in Rio Rico, Arizona.
He says a cousin of his took part in Earn to Learn and suggested the program to him while he was in high school.
The Show spoke with Sneed and asked how it worked for him.