The Mihaylo College Center for Economic Education is the recipient of a $50,000 grant that will fund the college’s financial literacy outreach to youth and high school teachers. The award will support a continuation of the Individual Development Account program, which has provided upward mobility for students from local low-income communities.
Mihaylo College’s Center for Economic Education (CEE) debuted a five-year Individual Development Account (IDA) program for local eighth-graders from three Title I schools in 2011. Each student was tasked with saving $10 per month, with another $20 per month matched by a federal grant and U.S. Bank, in an effort to increase college enrollment rates and to promote the importance of saving for college.
A series of three financial fitness camps supplemented the real-world experience of saving for college and prepared young people for the financial knowledge they will need in today’s complex economy. 95% of the students who completed the program have gone on to study at a university or community college. The IDA program also paid for a portion of tuition and essential educational supplies of 189 Cal State Fullerton IDA program participants, the majority being first-generation college students, as they moved on to the next semester of college.
“The IDA program is a very important component for low-income students to stay enrolled in college,” says Radha Bhattacharya, director of CEE. “There is a lot of potential for IDAs to support upward mobility for low- to moderate-income households.”
U.S. Bank Bridges the Funding Gap to Keep the Program Alive
Beginning in fiscal year 2017-2018, federal funding for the IDA program has been discontinued in the near term, but U.S. Bank has provided a $50,000 grant to ensure the continuity of the Mihaylo College program.
“We’re a national bank, so what we do can inform not only our bank, but the industry as well,” says Rockette Ewell, vice president and community development manager for U.S. Bank’s Southern California region.
Joe Hensley, market president for U.S. Bank, credited Bhattacharya for sparking the bank’s passion for the IDA program. “We couldn’t be as passionate in promoting this if it wasn’t for you,” he said.
Through partnerships with organizations such as U.S. Bank, the Center for Economic Education seeks to continue and expand its mission to equip the next generation with the financial literacy skills necessary to survive in today’s economy.
“I want to thank both ends of this equation –the supporters and the doers,” says Morteza Rahmatian, Mihaylo College’s interim dean. “It is a win-win situation for all of us.”
For More Information
Mihaylo’s Center for Economic Education offers a number of financial learning programs in partnership with U.S. Bank, including the incentive-based college savings IDA program and summer Financial Fitness Camps.
For more information, including opportunities for CSUF student involvement in the center’s programs, contact center director Radha Bhattacharya at email@example.com or by phone at 657-278-3652.