St. Paul Mayor Carter Announces Guaranteed Income and Tuition Program

Using funds through the US bailout, some St. Paul families will be enrolled in a pilot program that provides guaranteed basic income and payments to a college savings plan.

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter announced the CollegeBound Boost on Thursday — an initiative to expand St. Paul’s guaranteed income and college savings programs.

Led by the St. Paul Office of Financial Empowerment, the project will provide 333 enrolled low-income families with a combination of $500 in guaranteed income payments each month for two years, and deposits of $1,000 each on behalf of college savings of their child.

“I am excited about this combination of guaranteed income with asset building strategies to demonstrate the kind of synergistic contribution we can have when we combine to give families an elevated platform to jump from,” Carter said during the announcement.

The program is funded by $4 million from the US bailout as well as $1 million from private donations. Eligible CollegeBound families will be randomly selected for the CollegeBound Boost program starting this summer.

“Direct cash payments are a simple and effective way to help St. Paul residents achieve economic security,” Carter said in a statement. “CollegeBound Boost is our bold approach to combining these payments with asset-building opportunities, helping families build their future.”

The St. Paul Financial Empowerment Office is teaming up with researchers at the University of Michigan under the direction of Professor William Elliott, a national expert on college savings and asset building for children, to study the impacts of combining guaranteed income and asset building through CollegeBound Boost for St Families of Paul.

“CollegeBound Boost represents tangible hope for families in St. Paul. Guaranteed income helps parents get through a month. But saving for the future — through city savings deposits — gives families hope tangible for the future of their children,” said Professor William Elliott. “Both sides of the equation are crucial, and families will benefit immensely.”

Ryan H. Bowman