Help Low-Income Students Bridge the College Funding Gap


MESA participant Cynthia Surber

Nationally, student debt has reached $1.4 trillion. The true impact of this daunting surge in college costs is most felt among low-income students struggling to find ways to pay for their education. Fortunately, there’s a way Northwest credit unions can help.

Through the Matched Education Savings Account (MESA) program, the Northwest Credit Union Foundation has partnered with credit unions across the Northwest to help students avoid student debt while strengthening their financial skills. When a student saves up to $500 for college expenses as a participant in the MESA program, the amount he or she saves is matched 3:1. This means Northwest credit unions can help low-income students turn $500 into $2,000 for books or tuition.

The following video highlights the story of two students — Amber and Cynthia — who have been able to pursue their education goals with the help of the MESA program:

How Can My Credit Union Get Involved?

The Northwest Credit Union Foundation is offering a training webinar to answer your questions about the MESA program on Jan. 17. The webinar will provide all the information your credit union needs to participate in MESA, from your role and expectations as a partner, to how to begin promoting the program and opening accounts for participants.

All credit union staff who will be responsible for implementing the MESA Program at your credit union are welcome to join the webinar. This includes those who will be promoting the program, opening accounts, accepting qualified withdrawals, and educating colleagues about the program.

Click here to learn more, and to register for the webinar today.

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