Cal State Fullerton and U.S. Bank have teamed up to create the Individual Development Account (IDA), which enables and educates undergraduate students to save money.
The program enables students to recieve an incentive for saving that can be used to apply toward their college expenses, said Mary Sok, administrative assistant at the Center for Economic Education.
The program began at CSUF in January, said Radha Bhattacharya, professor of economics and IDA director.
Students involved in IDA are required to deposit $20 per month for six months and will not receive any debit card or checking account, but instead only an account number where they can make monthly deposits at any U.S. Bank, Sok said.
By the end of the semester, students will have saved $120, which will be quadrupled by the program. In addition, students will receive another $120, for a total of $600 saved, Bhattacharya said.
The money saved by the students at the end of the semester can only be used for CSUF tuition or approved educational supplies like books, computers, printers or other school expenses, and is only transferable at the campus bookstore, Bhattacharya said.
The program began with high school students in 2011, who deposited $10 a month into a U.S. Bank account for five years as a way to teach them how to save money for their future.
The program can take up to 220 students, and 140 have been approved so far, Bhattacharya said. Students who are part of this program for the spring semester cannot reapply.
Jorge Miranda, 33, human services major, enrolled in the IDA program this semester and found it to be a good tool to learn how to save money.
“It teaches you how to be disciplined with your finances,” he said.
Miranda recommends the program to other CSUF students because it will teach them how to be responsible and accountable.
Carolina Reyes, 21, business administration student, has learned how to be more aware of her finances.
“I have learned that investing my money is way better than having it saved without having something in return,” Reyes said via email.
Applicants should file an application and take all required documents to the Mihaylo College Center for Economic Education located at SGMH 3357.
In order to apply for the IDA program, students must be an undergraduate and come back for the fall 2016 semester. The deadline to spend the money is Dec. 1, Sok said.
Students must receive state financial aid such as the Cal Grant, Education Opportunity Program (EOP) and State University Grant (SUG) in order to qualify, Bhattacharya said.
Required documents for eligibility are a Social Security number, which could come from Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a verification that the student is a CSUF student and a driver’s license or California ID, Sok said.
The student’s net worth needs to be below $10,000 and must have an earned income. If he or she is not working, he or she can still qualify by presenting parental information, such as a W-2 or a tax return, Sok said.
Students who qualify have until Feb. 26 to apply.