ABOUT | Our History

Founder Story: Kate Hoffman

Earn to Learn was founded in 2008 by finance professional, Kate Hoffman, under the name Live the Solution. As a mom of two children (and future college students) herself, Kate’s dream was to empower individuals to become financially competent and build lifelong assets such as education and home ownership by developing the habit of saving through a Matched Savings
Account.

When Kate learned about Assets for Independence, a program of the U.S. Department of Health and Social Services, she had the idea that our state universities could apply for these funds and bring millions of dollars in assets to the table for struggling college students and their families. The joint application of Earn to Learn and the Arizona universities for these dollars was the first time in the history of the Assets for Independence program that a state public university system applied directly to, and was funded by, the federal program.

Earn to Learn Today

Since January 2013, Earn to Learn has focused solely on college education and has procured over $8.5 million in new federal funding for the state of Arizona. With the partner universities matching these federal monies dollar-for-dollar, the total scholarship pool has grown to nearly $17 million. As a result, Earn to Learn is now the largest education matched-savings scholarship program funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the nation, and has the capacity to offer an unprecedented 3,600 scholarships to students in need through 2020.

With this focus on college education and its flagship program, Live the Solution was renamed and branded Earn to Learn in 2015. Since then, the organization has caught the attention of policy makers, legislators, educators, funders and change agents across the country as a model program for changing the face of needs-based financial aid and giving families a pathway out of poverty through college education.