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Tip of the Week

Montana Matched Education Savings Account

Are you saving for College?

The Montana Matched Education Savings Account (MESA) program is helping eligible hardworking students with limited incomes save for college expenses. Participants in the MESA program can earn a ‘savings match’ – which is a promise to supplement a MESA participant’s savings deposit at a specific rate. For example, a 3:1 savings match means that for every dollar a participant saves as part of the program, he or she will be eligible to receive another three dollars. So if you save $500 throughout the course of the program and meet all the other program requirements you will be eligible for $1,500 match to purchase the agreed upon asset. The maximum match that the participant will be eligible to receive is dependent on the particular MESA program they are eligible for. Matched funding may not be used to pay toward student loans or housing.

You May Be Eligible If...

  • You are a member of a household with an annual income under a certain level. For example, a household of one has income equal to or less than $23,540. Add $8,320 for each additional household member.
  • You have earned income.
  • Your household wet worth does not exceed $10,000.
  • The applicant must be a Montana resident enrolled at one of the participating schools. For the GEAR UP program, applicant must be enrolled at a GEAR UP High School. Individuals applying for the Statewide MESA must be enrolled at a Montana post‐secondary school.
 MESA Program Savings Goal Match Rate Maximum Match
 Carroll College $500 8:1 $4,000
 Gallatin College $500 4:1 $2,000
 Montana GEAR UP $500 5:1 $2,500
 Montana State University $500 3:1 $1,500
 Montana Tech - Ron Verbeck $500 5:1 $2,500
 Statewide $500 5:1 $2,500
 University of Montana $500 3:1 $1,500

 Participants are asked to commit to...

  • Make monthly savings deposits of at least $25 and save for at least 6 months.
  • Participate in personal finance/money management training and post-secondary planning.
  • Maintain regular contact with program representatives.

Let Us Help You Achieve Your Educational Goals!
For more information visit http://www.montanacreditunions.coop/matched-savings-accounts and find out more on the individual programs listed above.



Montana Credit Unions for Community Development (or MCUCD) is the award-winning, charitable arm of the Montana Credit Union Network. A state-wide nonprofit organization, MCUCD works together with the state's credit unions to improve the lives and financial independence of all Montanans.