IDA Grant Program – Overview
An individual development account (IDA) program is a savings incentive initiative that provides eligible applicants with a matched grant of around US$ 4 for every US$ 1 that the applicant saves.
Under this program, applicants can withdraw their savings and the matched grant money for several purposes. For instance, an applicant can use IDA grant money to pay for college, start a business and even buy their first home.
IDA programs include basic money management training. It sets limits on the number of matching funds that an applicant can receive and establishes a minimum savings period to receive its benefits.
How Does Save Smart Work?
Save Smart is an IDA college program offered in collaboration with ‘I Know I Can’ program. Any student enrolled in this program has the chance to save up to US$ 250 in IDA savings account for every semester. The US$ 250 savings will earn around US$ 500 extra towards paying the cost of college.
Besides this, the applicant will also receive an additional US$ 600 for the I Know I Can program.
Who Is Eligible for IDA Save Smart Program?
To enroll in the IDA Grant Program’s Save Smart initiative, every applicant must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Present CC 11th and 12th-grade families, as well as current college students
- Planning to enroll full-time at a university or college upon graduating from high school or for the upcoming academic year
- Will be approved and awarded the ‘I Know I Can’ grant upon graduating high school or for the upcoming academic year
- Have earned income for a minimum of 30 days, or have parents who have earned income for a minimum of 30 days and meet the income guidelines
Below are the federal poverty guidelines dictating the size of the family and the household’s annual earning income:
|Annual Income Limit||US$ 23,540||US$ 31,860||US$ 40,180||US$ 48,500||US$ 56,820||US$ 65,140|
What Are the Requirements to Enroll in Save Smart?
To enroll in and receive benefits under Save Smart, you will need to submit the following to ‘I Know I Can’ program:
- Completed Save Smart application form
- Driver’s license number
- Social security number
- US$ 25 opening deposit amount (counts towards saving goal)
- Proof of earned income – Submit a copy of paystubs from the last 30 days, most recent tax return, and most recent FAFSA Student Aid Report for every household member
How to Complete the Save Smart Program?
Once you have successfully enrolled in the Save Smart initiatives, you must also complete the following steps to receive the benefits:
- Deposit a minimum of US$ 25 a month into your Save Smart account for at least 6 months
- Complete a 4-hour online financial planning course
- Be approved for and complete all steps to receive I Know I Can funding for the academic year
- Meet US$ 250 saving goal by the semester match deadline
When Are the IDA Grant Funds Sent to College?
Students can match grant amounts twice in an academic year. However, they need to complete the program steps listed above by the semester deadline.
For instance, the fall semester deadline is July 31 so match payments will be transferred to your college in August. In the same way, the spring semester deadline is November 30th, so match payments will be provided to the college in December.
The Individual Development Account (IDA) program is aimed at helping refugees and other ORR-eligible individuals to save towards an asset that can help gain increasing financial independence. This program helps refugees navigate assets, understand how the US financial system works, and teaches them expert tips on how to be financially smart and responsible.
To learn more details about the IDA program, you can visit the official website.