Network of six MnSCU colleges awarded $1 million from the Office of Community Services
As a member partner of TuitionMatch-MN, a network of six Minnesota State Colleges and Universities community and technical colleges and their respective foundations, Dakota County Technical College received $166,667 in funding as part of a $1 million grant from the Assets for Independence (AFI) Demonstration Program of the Office of Community Services, an office of the Administration for Children and Families under the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
Inver Hills Community College served as the lead institution for TuitionMatch-MN with Century College, Hennepin Technical College, Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Saint Paul College and DCTC as the other members of the network. Tim Wynes, J.D., IHCC president and DCTC interim president, noted that TuitionMatch-MN will support 700 Minnesota residents age 18 or older who qualify for Federal Pell Grants.
“The AFI funds will allow TuitionMatch-MN colleges to develop a 3:1 matched savings Individual Development Account program to help low-income Minnesotans build the financial assets they need to pursue a college education,” Wynes said. “Cost is the number one barrier to obtaining a postsecondary degree for low-income individuals with no previous college experience. By 2018, 70 percent of Minnesota jobs will require education beyond high school.”
TuitionMatch-MN IDA funds may be used only for college tuition and additional costs required for obtaining a postsecondary degree. Eligible TuitionMatch-MN participants may save up to $960 each, and can deposit the full $960 of earned income when they open their savings account; or, they can make monthly installments over the course of two years. This initial investment will be matched 3:1 (1.5 by AFI funds and 1.5 from each partnering college), for a total of $3,840 per student.
Eligible TuitionMatch-MN participants must:
- Qualify for Federal Pell Grants
- Deposit up to $960 of earned income into the IDA
- Complete a 1.0-credit equivalent one semester tuition-free financial literacy course
- Complete one semester of tuition-free one-on-one career coaching
About Assets for Independence (AFI)
AFI is a community-based approach for giving low-income families a hand up out of poverty. Utilizing existing individual and community assets, AFI strengthens communities from within through the use of matched savings accounts called Individual Development Accounts (IDAs). Through financial education, AFI demonstrates the use and impact of IDAs to help low-income individuals move toward greater self-sufficiency.
For more information about the DCTC Foundation and TuitionMatch-MN, contact:
- Tharan Leopold
Executive Director of Foundation & Alumni