Growing chorus of education and business leaders lend support for Senators’ Earn to Learn Act, which creates a college-matched savings program and provides financial training for students
WASHINGTON – Education and business leaders from Arizona and across the country are backing Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema and Senator Mitt Romney’s (R-Utah) Earn to Learn Act to responsibly reduce student loan debt and help make college more affordable to Arizona 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.
See how Arizona academic and business leaders are lending their support for the senators’ commonsense plan below.
“Earn to Learn has been uplifting underserved Arizona students to reach their dreams through 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.”
“The Arizona Community Foundation understands the importance of quality education for all. As an early supporter of Earn to Learn in Arizona, we have been proud to support Earn to Learn’s successful model that has reduced student borrowing and improved graduation rates and college access. The Earn to Learn Act has the power to achieve these same benefits on a national scale,” said Anna María Chávez, President and CEO, Arizona Community Foundation.
“Northern Arizona boasts a diverse, fast-growing economy that is driving demand for trained workers. The Northern Arizona Leadership Alliance supports the Earn to Learn Act because it will both improve college affordability and help employers access the skilled workforce they need,” said T. Paul Thomas, CEO, Northern Arizona Leadership Alliance.
“The Earn to Learn program empowers underserved students to achieve a college education without going into debt. They will also take with them the financial literary skills learned in the program long after they graduated. Pima Community College is excited to partner with Earn to Learn to benefit our own students, and we support making this scholarship available to other colleges,” said Marcy Euler, President & CEO, Pima Community College Foundation, Inc.
“Expanding access to higher education is central to our mission at Arizona State University, and the national expansion of the Earn to Learn Act will improve access for students from all backgrounds across the country. This innovative program will pay dividends not only for students, but also for our broader economy,” said Kent Hopkins, Vice President for Academic Enterprise Enrollment, Arizona State University.
“The Earn to Learn program has provided Arizona students with a unique way to save for their college education, plan for their future and be able to attend world class universities like the University of Arizona. Increased college access is vital, and we believe Earn to Learn can be a model to follow for the rest of the country,” said Kasey Urquídez, Vice President – Enrollment Management, University of Arizona.
“All Arizona students deserve to have opportunities to succeed. We are longtime supporters of Earn to Learn and its initiatives that help more Arizonans graduate from college. This isn’t a nice-to-have. It’s a must-have. With more college graduates, Arizona is better positioned to support the economic growth and stability we all want,” said Jeff Guldner, CEO, Arizona Public Service (APS).
“For over a decade, Earn to Learn has been making college dreams a reality for Arizona low-income students. Greater Phoenix Leadership looks forward to seeing this proven model expanded nationwide via the Earn to Learn Act – helping students gain the education they need and employers find the qualified workforce our economy requires,” said Neil Giuliano, President & CEO, Greater Phoenix Leadership.
“Tuition and related costs are a significant barrier for many Hispanic students and help explain lagging college attainment rates among students of color across the country. The Earn to Learn Act will make a real difference for low and middle-income students of all backgrounds, helping them access the post-secondary education they need to advance,” said Karla Bernal Morales, Chairwoman, Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
“The Earn to Learn Act will help children from lower-income families overcome barriers that might keep them from attending college, just as this program has been doing in Arizona for a decade. Our companies strongly support Earn to Learn through Board participation, financial donations and volunteerism. We anticipate great success when this innovative program expands nationwide,” said Susan Gray, President and CEO, Tucson Electric Power and UniSource Energy Services.
“The Earn to Learn Act is a creative solution to make postsecondary education and job training affordable and accessible to underserved communities. The Tucson Metro Chamber is a strong supporter of this Act and firmly believes that greater access to education is the cornerstone to any community’s success and increases employer’s ability to find and hire local talent,” said Michael Guymon, President & CEO, Tucson Metro Chamber.
“Employers are starved for trained workers, especially in the high-skill industries so critical to the U.S. economy. The Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry supports programs like Earn to Learn that increase accessibility to higher education opportunities for all,” said Danny Seiden, President & CEO, Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
“Workforce development is a primary concern for employers of all sizes. The Greater Phoenix Chamber is pleased to support the Earn to Learn Act because it promises to help employers find the trained workforce they need, while tearing down many of the financial barriers that prevent individuals from pursuing a college education or vocational training,” said Todd Sanders, President & CEO, Greater Phoenix Chamber.
“There’s not a lot of bipartisanship in Congress these days, but the Earn to Learn Act is a shining exception. The Arizona Bankers Association is proud to support this bipartisan effort to ensure students not only can access a college education, but graduate with little or no tuition debt and armed with the money-management skills they’ll need to be responsible consumers,” said Paul Hickman, President & CEO, Arizona Bankers Association.