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ESL, MCC, and PathStone Launch College Savings Program

The following press release describes the new ESL Charitable Foundation initiative announced earlier today: 

“Save for Success” will Provide Tuition Grants Matching Student Savings by 8 to 1

ESL, MCC and Pathstone Partner

ROCHESTER, N.Y., April 22, 2014 – ESL Federal Credit Union is partnering with Monroe Community College (MCC) and PathStone Corporation to help make a college education more affordable. Today, they announced Save for Success, a new program providing students with an 8-to-1 matching education grant, as well as financial and life skills counseling. 

Each “Save for Success” scholar will be provided with an ESL Federal Credit Union College Fund Savings Account to save for tuition and education-related expenses. After students save $375 and are accepted at MCC, Save for Success will match the student savings with $3,000 to help pay for tuition, books, and other educational-related expenses. 

“Helping students succeed is essential to making Rochester a better place to live, work, and raise a family,” said ESL Federal Credit Union CEO David L. Fiedler. “Save for Success is an innovative program that combines financial aid with financial literacy. Together with MCC and PathStone, we can give motivated students the support and skills they need to earn a college education.” 

In addition to providing students with savings accounts, the ESL Charitable Foundation has made a $40,000 donation to help pay for one of the program’s “navigators,” who will provide participating students with individualized one-on-one coaching. The navigators at PathStone will work closely with parents and counselors, assisting in enrollment, orientation, financial literacy training, monthly savings, and account management. Navigators will also work with community partners to identify and recruit juniors and seniors in high school, as well as displaced workers and adult students pursuing new careers. 

“Education is the only truly successful path out of poverty and Save for Success is the right vehicle to move students along that path,” said PathStone Corporation President and CEO Stuart J. Mitchell. “We are proud to contribute the Save for Success Navigator because that role is essential for maintaining the program's balance of opportunity, incentive, and accountability and assuring the impact of our investment in our Save for Success Scholars.”

Save for Success is funded by a $200,000 Assets for Independence (AFI) grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. As a condition of receiving the AFI grant, the MCC Foundation has secured $200,000 in private support from eight Rochester area donors. The AFI grant, coupled with the generous private contributions, will provide a total of $400,000 of financial support to Save for Success participants.

“Community partnerships are vital to the success of MCC students, and we’re pleased to collaborate with PathStone and ESL Federal Credit Union on the Save for Success program,” said MCC President Anne M. Kress. “The lives of our students and the trajectory of entire families will change because of this opportunity. We’re deeply appreciative of the donors who provided the private support we needed to secure the grant and thank our elected representatives, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter and Senator Chuck Schumer, who supported our grant application.”

At least 29 scholars will be enrolled in MCC for the fall 2014 semester. Over the next five years, Save for Success will make it possible for 113 low-income and disadvantaged youth to graduate from MCC with an associate degree or certificate.