St. Paul to expand guaranteed income, college savings programs

The city of St. Paul is using federal funding to expand its guaranteed income and college savings programs.

Wednesday, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter announced the initiative to expand the programs, calling it “CollegeBound Boost.”

The project will give 333 low-income families who are enrolled in the city’s CollegeBound program $500 monthly payments for two years as part of the guaranteed income program and $1,000 deposits for their child’s CollegeBound college savings account.

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

The city says the program is headed by its Office of Financial Empowerment — which is partnering with researchers at the University of Michigan to study its impact — and uses $4 million in federal American Rescue Plan funding plus another $1 million from philanthropy.

The families that will participate in the program will be randomly selected starting this summer, according to Carter.

RELATED: St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter signs executive order that provides guaranteed income for families in need

St. Paul’s guaranteed income pilot program started in November 2020, offering $500 per month to 150 families for 18 months. More information is available online.