Applications Open for Earn to Learn FL Matched Savings for Education Scholarships

High schools students may be eligible to have their savings matched 8:1                                               

Earn to Learn Florida (ETLF), a 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is to empower income-challenged students to complete college, announces that applications are open for Matched Savings for Education Scholarships.

High school juniors and seniors who income-qualify may be eligible to save up to $500 in their Florida 529 Savings Plan each year and have their savings matched at least 8:1 by Earn to Learn FL. This brings their total available funds for financial assistance to at least $4,500 per academic year.

In partnership with Florida Prepaid College Foundation, Earn to Learn FL doubles the impact of non-government funds donated to Earn to Learn FL for scholarships at the 8:1 ratio. The partnership with Florida Prepaid College Foundation provides 1-year Florida University or 1-year Florida College scholarship plans for tuition, local fees, and tuition differential fees in Florida. In addition, the students’ savings in their Florida 529 Savings Plan pays for additional expenses for education such as lodging, books, fees, and other costs.

“Income-challenged students will be prepared for long and short-term success by combining student savings, personal finance training, near peer coaching, and scholarships,” said Brenda Tate, CEO of Earn to Learn FL.  “We are confident that an investment in these students’ high school and postsecondary success will have long-lasting effects on their careers and the rest of their lives.”

Students must complete the online pre-application form to begin the process. To be eligible, students must meet all of the following minimum requirements:

Academic:

·         Apply during 11th or 12th grade

·         Be enrolled at a public Florida high school

·         Earn a 3.0 high school GPA if pursuing a Florida state university degree program

·         Earn a 2.5 high school GPA if pursuing a Florida state career and technical education certificate or two-year associates degree

Income:

·         Documentation that the student (or family) receives benefits from one of the following programs, based on income:

o   Free and Reduced Lunch (based on income)

o   Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

o   Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

o   Medicare

o   HUD – must not exceed the “Very Low Income” HUD Eligibility threshold

o   Or, a filed IRS 1040 tax return that lists the student as a dependent and demonstrates eligibility to participate in the program.

o   Or, proof that the student is in foster care.

Citizenship:

·         Scholarships (based on availability) are available for both U.S. citizens and resident aliens; a valid social security number is required.

·         Eligible students must have Florida residency and a valid Florida ID card, such as a driver’s license, learner’s permit, or state ID.

If eligible, students will automatically be directed to complete personal finance training.  Once completed, students will be invited to complete the full application.

Students will make monthly deposits for at least six months before university or college enrollment to meet the savings goal and receive the Earn to Learn FL Scholarship.

To apply, visit www.earntolearnflorida.org. Then, click on Programs and Matched Savings.

Earn to Learn FL empowers low-to-moderate income students in Florida to earn college degrees and professional certifications with little or no debt through matched savings, personalized financial capability training, and success coaching. In addition, eligible students who establish a habit of saving for higher education can receive matching funds for financial assistance provided by Earn to Learn FL supporters committed to enhancing workforce development and the economic well-being of Florida communities. For more information, please visit EarntoLearnFL.org or email Brenda Tate at Brenda@EarntoLearnFL.org.  To donate, visit https://give.classy.org/nearpeer.

Rebecca Gerke Named Earn to Learn FL as Finance and Human Resources Director

Earn to Learn Florida (ETLF), a 501(c)3 non-profit whose mission is to empower income-challenged students to complete college, announced that Rebecca Gerke has been named finance and human resources director.  Gerke joined Earn to Learn FL in 2016 as an accountant.

Rebecca is an experienced accountant and consultant with collaborative success in guiding multiple small businesses and non-profits in growth, profitability and sustainability,” said Brenda Tate, CEO of Earn to Learn FL.  “She implements sound business practices and improved management of costs and utilizes a consultative approach to work with key leaders, board members, management, and staff to control overhead expenses and cash flow, streamline operations with policies, processes, and procedures, and analyze business strategies.”  Gerke earned her Bachelor of Business Administration in Business Management from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

“I love the opportunity to see education happening on so many levels,” said Gerke.  “Our Near Peer Coaches enhance their own education through leading personal finance and college readiness training. Our Student Savers are reaching their savings goals as they apply knowledge learned through the program.  This education is far-reaching, with many ripple effects. It’s a joy to provide behind-the-scenes support to the organization.”

Earn to Learn FL empowers low-to-moderate income students in Florida to earn college degrees and professional certifications with little or no debt through matched savings, personalized financial capability training, and success coaching. In addition, eligible students who establish a habit of saving for higher education can receive matching funds for financial assistance provided by Earn to Learn FL supporters committed to enhancing workforce development and the economic well-being of Florida communities.  For more information, please visit EarntoLearnFL.org or email Brenda Tate at Brenda@EarntoLearnFL.org.

 

Near Peer Coaching

Earn to Learn FL Raising $420,000 Local Match for Near Peer Coaching Program

Near Peer CoachingEarn to Learn FL Raising $420,000 Local Match for Near Peer Coaching Program.  The Program targets economically disadvantaged students in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Lee, and Collier Counties

Earn to Learn Florida (ETLF), a 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is to empower income-challenged students to complete college, announces a campaign to raise $420,000 locally to match federal funding from AmeriCorps, in partnership with Volunteer Florida. ETLF is asking community members to sponsor a Near Peer Coach by contributing matching funds to leverage the federal grant of $648,000 for a total budget of $1 million.

The funding will allow 72 AmeriCorps members to be deployed as Near Peer Coaches for Postsecondary Success to serve 900 hours each during the program year August 1, 2021, through July 31, 2022.  More than 720 students will receive Near Peer Coaching.

“In 2020, an AmeriCorps grant launched our Near Peer Coaching for Secondary Success,” said Brenda Tate, CEO of Earn to Learn Florida.  “This year’s funding, along with the generous support of our local community, will help additional students pursue their dream of completing a postsecondary education with little or no debt.”

Local matching fund partners include:

  • United Way Suncoast
  • Suncoast Credit Union foundation
  • United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee Counties
  • Comerica Charitable Foundation
  • Regions Bank

Near Peer Success Coaches support students as they transition from high school to a postsecondary education institution. Members focus on advising students, especially those from low-income backgrounds, through the complex steps toward college enrollment, including the admission and financial aid processes.

Each Near Peer Coach will receive a stipend of $9,900, plus a $3,000 scholarship for their continued education upon completion of 12 months of service.

Earn to Learn FL empowers low-to-moderate income students in Florida to earn college degrees and professional certifications with little or no debt through matched savings, personalized financial capability training, and success coaching. In addition, eligible students who establish a habit of saving for higher education can receive matching funds for financial assistance provided by Earn to Learn FL supporters committed to enhancing workforce development and the economic well-being of Florida communities. For more information, please visit EarntoLearnFL.org, or email Brenda Tate at Brenda@EarntoLearnFL.org.  To donate, visit https://give.classy.org/nearpeer.

Nichole Allen Named Earn to Learn FL as Matched Savings for Education Program Coordinator

Earn to Learn Florida (ETLF), a 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is to empower income-challenged students to complete college, announced that Nichole Allen has been named Matched Savings for Education program coordinator.

 “Students and their families who income-qualify may be eligible to deposit up to $500 into an Earn to Learn FL savings account each year,” said Brenda Tate, CEO of Earn to Learn FL. “Their savings are then matched 8:1 by ETLF. This brings their total available funds for financial assistance up to $4,500 per academic year. The funds are used for tuition, books, fees, and other approved educational-related expenses. Earn to Learn FL, in partnership with Florida Prepaid College Foundation, purchases STARS contracts to double the impact of non-government funds available for financial assistance at the 8:1 ratio.”

Nichole has a strong background in business management and a passion for helping others,” said Tate.  “She leads our Matched Savings for Education program by supporting  Earn to Learn leadership and program management in program execution, assisting in the administration of the Matched Savings Program, and providing frontline interaction and service for Matched Savings student applicants and participants.”

“By combining student savings with the support of financial literacy training, academic and career coaching, and financial aid, low- to moderate-income students will be prepared for success in both the short and long term,” said Allen. “We are confident that an investment in these students’ academic success will have long-lasting effects on their careers and the rest of their lives.”

Allen joined ETLF in December 2020 as a program assistant and development associate.  She has a Bachelor of Arts of Applied Science in Management from Peru State College in Nebraska and 18 years of business management experience.   Allen is enthusiastic about supporting low-income youth and helping them reach their secondary education goals.  

Earn to Learn FL empowers low-to-moderate income students in Florida to earn college degrees and professional certifications with little or no debt through matched savings, personalized financial capability training, and success coaching. In addition, eligible students who establish a habit of saving for higher education can receive matching funds for financial assistance provided by Earn to Learn FL supporters committed to enhancing workforce development and the economic well-being of Florida communities. For more information, please visit EarntoLearnFL.org or email Brenda Tate at Brenda@EarntoLearnFL.org.

Earn to Learn FL Receives $648,000 in AmeriCorps Funding in Partnership with Volunteer Florida

Earn to Learn Florida (ETLF), a 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is to empower income-challenged students to complete college, has been awarded $648,000 from AmeriCorps in partnership with Volunteer Florida.  The grant will fund 72 AmeriCorps members to be deployed as Near Peer Coaches for Postsecondary Success to serve 900 hours each during the program year August 1, 2021, through July 31, 2022

The funding is a part of a statewide initiative awarding $17,189,370 from AmeriCorps to fund 37 programs in 2021-2022. Cumulatively, these programs will recruit and manage 1,612 AmeriCorps members who will serve in 35 of Florida’s counties, contributing 1,981,575 total hours of service valued at $52,155,054.

AmeriCorps members are on the front lines of service to Florida’s communities and various areas of need,” said Volunteer Florida CEO Corey Simon. “With this year’s significant investment, we are excited to support the tremendous impact that these national service members will affect in schools, hospices, and state parks throughout the Sunshine State.”

“In 2020, an AmeriCorps grant launched our Near Peer Coaching for Secondary Success,” said Brenda Tate, CEO of Earn to Learn Florida.  “This year’s AmeriCorps funding will help additional students pursue their dream of completing a postsecondary education with little or no debt. We are grateful to Volunteer Florida for securing this funding for Florida’s students.”

Near Peer Success Coaches support students as they transition from high school to a postsecondary education institution. Members focus on advising students, especially those from low-income backgrounds, through the complex steps toward college enrollment, including the admission and financial aid processes.  The program targets economically disadvantaged students in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Sarasota, Lee, and Collier Counties, with plans to expand to other counties.  Each Near Peer Coach will receive a stipend of $9,900, plus a $3,000 scholarship for their continued education upon completion of 12 months of service.

Earn to Learn FL empowers low-to-moderate income students in Florida to earn college degrees and professional certifications with little or no debt through matched savings, personalized financial capability training, and success coaching. In addition, eligible students who establish a habit of saving for higher education can receive matching funds for financial assistance provided by Earn to Learn FL supporters committed to enhancing workforce development and the economic well-being of Florida communities. For more information, please visit EarntoLearnFL.org, or email Brenda Tate at Brenda@EarntoLearnFL.org.