NEW: Support Our Students and Earn a Tax Break Under the New CARES Act

Through the $2 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package known as the CARES Act, the Federal Government has just provided all taxpayers with a new financial incentive for Americans to give easily and generously to qualifying charities, including Earn to Learn. This universal tax break goes into effect starting with the 2020 tax year. For taxpayers, this is an above-the-line deduction for up to $300 in charitable donations made in 2020.

This means when you give $300, you get the $300 tax break in addition to the standard deduction. This is your special opportunity to give to qualifying charities who are working to improve the lives of Arizonans during this unprecedented COVID-19 health and economic crisis.

Here’s what you need to know how your gift to Earn to Learn will impact your taxes, whether you are taking the standard deduction, itemizing your deductions and/or participating in corporate giving:

1. Standard Deduction
The CARES Act allows those taking the standard deduction to take an additional “above-the-line” tax deduction for contributions made to qualified charitable entities up to $300 per year starting in 2020. The 2020 standard deduction is $12,400 for individuals and $24,800 for married couples filing jointly, so any donation to qualifying charities of up to $300 will be added to the standard rate of deduction. This deduction is here for 2020 and beyond.

2. Itemized Deductions
Under the CARES Act, those who file itemized deductions will be allowed to take a tax deduction of up to 100% of their Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) for contributions to qualifying charities starting in 2020. The new law temporarily lifts the limits on charitable giving from 60% of a taxpayer’s AGI to 100% for 2020.

3. Corporate Giving
For corporate donors, the CARES Act allows an entity to take a tax deduction of up to 25% of their Adjusted Tax Income for contributions to qualifying charities starting in 2020. The new law temporarily lifts the limits from 10% of adjusted taxable income to 25% for 2020.

We hope you find this information helpful. As always, we thank you for being such an important part of our Earn to Learn students’ success, and we sincerely look forward to brighter days ahead for us all.

Daniela Ibarra

Daniela was born and raised in Tucson very near the University of Arizona, but she never expected to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering as a first generation college student. She credits Earn to Learn™ with inspiring her and being there for her every step of the way. So much so that she even joined the Mentoring Program to help other first year Earn to Learn students transition successfully into college.

Earn to Learn also helped her land her first internship at Hexagon Mining as a software Engineer intern. Daniela credits her later opportunities at IBM and American Express for the experience she gained as an intern at Hexagon, which gave her the ability to try on several different roles. “Companies like to see real-world experiences outside of the classroom, and both IBM and American Express could see on my resume how flexible I was and how diverse my experience was.”

She credits Earn to Learn for not only helping to improve her financial literacy, but also in helping her develop professionally. Attending internship-readiness workshops and getting her resume prepped by the Earn to Learn staff pushed her to be a strong candidate for quality positions. In 2019, Daniela successfully graduated with zero debt from U of A with a degree in Electrical & Computer Engineering, and she has begun an exciting career as an Embedded Software Engineer at Raytheon.

Daniela’s advice for other students? For juniors and younger: “Start early! Find internships or career opportunities. Get your resume together, and start preparing for hypothetical interviews.” And for seniors: “Find internships for the school year through local companies. Experience is key, and if you’re unable to find an internship, look to obtain a position on campus as a volunteer research assistant.” And for all: “Don’t be afraid to ask for help! The success coaches at Earn to Learn are so helpful and they’re there to guide you!”
Congratulations, Daniela!

8th Annual Evening of Honors Postponed

After careful consideration regarding the recent COVID-19 coronavirus developments and discussion with our many partners, universities and stakeholders, Earn to Learn™ is postponing its 8th annual Evening of Honors. The safety and health of our community is of utmost importance to our staff and board. Please stay tuned for a new date later this year. We appreciate your support of this event and of our students. Any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Krissy King.

Thank You APS!

Thank you Arizona Public Service – APS for leading a great information session on summer internships and for the invaluable resume and interviewing tips to prepare for the ASU Career Fair!

Alliance Bank of Arizona, a division of Western Alliance


The partnership between Western Alliance and Earn to Learn could truly be described as “a match made in shared purpose.” Because both organizations are united by their passion for helping economically challenged kids become financially competent and build life-long assets, including higher education.

Western Alliance has been involved with Tucson-based Earn to Learn since its Founder, Kate Hoffman, was working at her dining table on the concept to create the 8-to-1 matched scholarships that are the lynchpin to an Earn to Learn student’s success. “Western Alliance has been a major supporter even before we had our first student,” said Hoffman. “Not only did the bank help us get our organization off the ground, they also provided important financial support – and they have done this every year since the program launched in 2012. I can’t imagine a better community partner.”


GTL Alumni Excellence Award Winner Kate Hoffman

Attending college is at the heart of the American Dream, but for an increasing number of students that dream feels out of reach. After spending many years in the financial services sector, Kate Hoffman created Earn to Learn to give students every opportunity to achieve the dream of a college education. It’s also the reason she was named the 2020 Greater Tucson Leadership Alumni Excellence recipient.

Hoffman was struck by the challenge of college access and affordability as she went through the Greater Tucson Leadership (GTL) class of 2008. Taking part in the organization’s monthly issue days, she was inspired to help make college financially accessible to students and disrupt the cycle of poverty for those families.

“Many students come from families where college was never an option. Earn to Learn helps them see that college is possible.” – Kate Hoffman, Earn to Learn founder

Using the relationships she’d forged through GTL and sheer perseverance, Hoffman built partnerships with several local organizations and launched a first-of-its-kind college matched savings program. Hoffman collaborated with Arizona’s three public universities to launch Earn to Learn, the largest and most successful college matched-savings program in the country. Recently, Earn to Learn has expanded to serve students at Pima Community College and Maricopa Community College District.

Earn to Learn combines student savings with scholarships, financial education, and success coaching to help low- to moderate-income and diverse students obtain a college education and graduate ready to enter the workforce with little or no student loan debt. Students and their families who income-qualify save $500 each year. These funds are matched 8:1, bringing their total scholarship award to $4,500 per academic year to help offset the cost of attendance.

“Kate’s passion for creating a path for student success is a huge benefit for the region and for the state.” – Amber Smith, Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce president

Earn to Learn has impressive stats. Most significantly, Earn to Learn students on average are graduating with less than $5,000 in student debt, compared to the national average of more than $30,000. Students have saved and invested nearly $3M in their education and have earned an additional $24M in additional grant aid through the program’s 8:1 match. Earn to Learn has provided nearly 35,000 hours of personal finance training to approximately 5,000 students in Arizona. The projected 6-year graduation rate is approaching 80%. As a point of comparison, the national 6-year graduation rate for the Pell eligible target population is 39%, according to reports from the Department of Education.

“Kate has impacted thousands of students and their families. Her accomplishments show all of us that we can be change agents if we and have the passion to see it through.” – Adam Begody, Chamber senior account executive

While the bulk of Hoffman’s time is dedicated to Earn to Learn, she also makes time for her community. She’s served on the GTL Governing Board, the Tucson Hispanic Chamber Foundation Board, Tucson Values Teachers, and the Child and Family Resources Board, to name just a few. When asked about receiving the Alumni award, Hoffman was modest. “For me, this is a really exciting honor,” she said. “GTL has meant so much to me. I’m just honored and grateful to receive this award.”

PCC partners with ‘Earn to Learn’ to help reduce tuition

Phillip Bramwell, Tuscon Local Media; Oct 18, 2019

Pima Community College announced a new partnership with Earn to Learn, a tuition scholarship program for Pell grant recipients, beginning in the 2020-2021 school year.

The Earn to Learn scholarship is a tuition-match program funded by philanthropic donations from Arizona public and private sector businesses. Earn to Learn is designed to help students avoid debt from school loans, and also teaches them how to better handle money.

“It is designed to help make sure good financial habits occur well beyond the college years,” said Marcy Euler, President and CEO of the Pima Community College Foundation.

“It is a many-faceted approach to creating good long-term spending habits and understanding the value of money.”

Students engaging in Earn to Learn are instructed to save $500, which will be applied to the costs of attending PCC. Each year they accumulate their $500, Earn to Learn will provide an 8-to-1 matching scholarship of $4,000. Students have at least six months to save up the $500. Earn to Learn’s “Success Coaches” can even help students set up a savings plan to reach their goal. The grant covers tuition and other school-related expenses.


Pima Community College partners with Earn to Learn

Students can receive up to $4,000 for tuition, fees

By KOLD News 13 Staff | October 2, 2019 at 4:57 PM MST – Updated October 2 at 4:57 PM

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) – Pima Community College will partner with a national matched-savings scholarship program to provide students with additional financial opportunities.

In an effort to help future and current Pima students support their education, the college partnered with Earn to Learn to provide qualified students with as much as $4,000 in support. Through the partnership, which is geared toward low- to moderate-income students, Pima students have the chance to earn scholarships and participate in financial literacy and college success coaching.

Pima will be the first community college in the country to partner with Earn to Learn. Students interested in participating in the program should apply at by Oct. 25.

Copyright 2019 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.