The Individual Development Accounts (IDA) program offers special matched savings accounts to families and individuals of modest means that are designed to help them establish a pattern of regular savings and obtain higher education. This program is offered through our Financial Path$ program.
About IDA “Savings Match”
A “savings match” is a promise to supplement an IDA participant’s savings deposits at a specific rate. The United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey (UWGPSNJ) matches postsecondary education at 4:1. In other words, for every $1.00 an IDA participant saves, he or she will be matched, or given, an additional $4.00 to be used for postsecondary educational expenses when he or she has completed the program requirements. Participants can save up to $1,000, which he or she will be matched with $4,000, giving them a grand total of $5,000 to use for school.
How to Qualify for IDA
People interested in participating in the IDA program must meet the following qualifications:
- Reside in Philadelphia, Montgomery, Delaware or Chester Counties
- Be enrolled in or accepted into an accredited institution
- Be currently employed (either full-time or part-time)
- Meet program income guidelines:
- 1 person: $22,980
- 2 people: $31,020
- 3 people: $39,060
- 4 people: $47,100
- 5 people: $55,140
- 6 people: $63,180
- 7 people: $71,220
- 8 people: $79,260
Savings: You must make a minimum of six monthly deposits of at least $10.00 per month. Even if you reach your savings goal in less than six months, you still need to make at least one deposit a month for six months. Direct deposit is recommended, but not required. Deposit part of your income tax refund next year and you’ll be well on your way!
Education: Participants must attend at least six hours of Financial Literacy classes and at least five hours of Home-Buyer Counseling. These requirements must be completed within six months after you enroll in the IDA program.
When and How You Receive the Money
At the earliest, you can receive your money six months after you enroll IF you make at least six monthly deposits, complete your education requirements and your account has been open for a full six months from the date of your first deposit. For example, if you make your first deposit on January 15, you will be eligible to receive match money on July 16. At the latest, you will receive your money one year from the date that you enroll in the program.
As for how you will receive your money, a check for both your savings and match money will be written directly to your school.
For more information about IDA or to enroll in the program, contact Paula Staton via email or call 610-543-5022.