About CollegeBound Boost

CollegeBound Boost is the City of Saint Paul's new initiative to expand guaranteed income and college savings in Saint Paul. Announced on June 29, 2022 by Mayor Melvin Carter, the new demonstration project will provide 333 low-income families enrolled in the CollegeBound Saint Paul program with a combination of $500 in guaranteed income payments each month for 2 years and deposits of $1,000 each for their child’s CollegeBound Saint Paul college savings account. Eligible CollegeBound families were randomly selected for the CollegeBound Boost program starting in the fall of 2022. OFE is partnering with the University of Michigan to study the impacts of the combination of guaranteed income and asset building on Saint Paul families.

Enrollment in CollegeBound Boost is closed as of July 7, 2023.  

Who is eligible for CollegeBound Boost?

Participants were randomly selected from families who met the following:

  • be the parent or guardian of a CollegeBound Saint Paul beneficiary: a child born to a Saint Paul resident on or after January 1, 2020;
  • be a current resident of Saint Paul; and
  • verify that the family’s income is at or below the program’s income eligibility guidelines, which are 300% of the federal poverty level or $83,250 for a family of four.

Eligible families were randomly assigned to one of three potential groups receiving:

  1. $500 in monthly guaranteed income for 24 months and $1,000 invested in their CollegeBound account;  
  2. $1,000 invested in their CollegeBound account only, or
  3. Continue to participate CollegeBound with the current $50 seed deposit and opportunities to earn bonus deposits.

If you have questions, contact 651-266-8829 or collegebound@ci.stpaul.mn.us

People's Prosperity Pilot Logo

About the People's Prosperity Pilot

The City of Saint Paul ran the People’s Prosperity Guaranteed Income Pilot between October 2020 and April 2022. This innovative pilot program provided 150 Saint Paul families with $500 per month in guaranteed income for a period of 18 months. The goal of our guaranteed income pilot was simple: get cash to families in our community with no strings attached so they can buy the things they need like food, housing, and other essentials.

The People’s Prosperity Pilot was offered to families participating in CollegeBound Saint Paul, the City’s college savings initiative which is providing every child born to a Saint Paul resident on or after January 1, 2020 with a college savings account and a $50 seed deposit. In an effort to build families’ wealth while supporting their income, their child also received a monthly $10 bonus deposit in their CollegeBound Saint Paul account.

Results of the People’s Prosperity Pilot were studied by the Center for Guaranteed Income Research (CGIR) at the University of Pennsylvania, and findings reveal connections between the receipt of unconditional cash and improved financial health, sense of self, and economic mobility.

Download the Research Report

Guaranteed Income in the News

US currency

Newsweek: A Modern War on Poverty

On this 60th anniversary of America's declaration of unconditional war on poverty, we must bet on ourselves and finally eradicate poverty through a guaranteed income.

Read on Newsweek.com
Damara Clark with 3-year-old Amary Lockridge

Star Tribune: St. Paul's guaranteed income program improved families' well-being

The University of Pennsylvania study found the extra money to low-income St. Paul families improved positive outlooks as well as cash flow. 

Read on StarTribune.com
Mayor Carter speaking

Governing: Guaranteed-Income Programs Pick Up Steam

Governments have spent untold billions providing poor people with access to food, shelter and education, says St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter. He believes that offering cash is a better way to change the circumstances of poor people. "All the things that we correlate with poverty in America, we can address by making sure that Americans have money in their pocket," Carter says.

Read on Governing.com
Mayor Carter 2022 Budget Address

Pioneer Press: Study: Outlooks brightened but savings elusive during St. Paul’s guaranteed income project

The University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Guaranteed Income Research has completed a 59-page report on its findings, coming to the conclusion that St. Paul’s “People’s Prosperity Guaranteed Income Pilot” worked “protectively,” offering some financial breathing room during the pandemic, though that disappeared after the cash ended.

Read at TwinCities.com
CollegeBound Boost participant Damara Clark's family

Kare11: Study reveals positive results from St. Paul's guaranteed income program; not everyone is convinced

A new study suggests St. Paul’s first guaranteed income program delivered economic, physical and mental health benefits to its participants.

Read at KARE11.com
Michael Tubbs, Commissioner Rena Moran, Mayor Carter It's Basic Screening

Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder: Can guaranteed income help sustain families struggling with poverty?

The Minnesota premiere of “It’s Basic,” a documentary by Marc Levin that chronicled the guaranteed income movement and its impact on communities across the country, was held at The Wellstone Center on Wednesday, July 19, and hosted by St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter. Dozens of community members packed into the theater to participate in the screening of the documentary and hear from those championing the guaranteed income movement. 

Read at spokesman-recorder.com
Mayor Carter

Pioneer Press: St. Paul’s next basic income experiment: $12,000 cash plus money for college

St. Paul is expanding its guaranteed basic income experiment, giving monthly checks to more families while also making deposits into some of their children’s college savings accounts.

Read on Twincities.com
PPP participant and son

Star Tribune: St. Paul's guaranteed income pilot a 'life raft' for families

In November 2020, Mayor Melvin Carter launched the St. Paul pilot, which is giving 150 families $500 a month for 18 months. Since then, dozens of cities have rolled out similar programs in hopes of making the case for a federal guaranteed income policy.

Read on StarTribune.com
Building services manger Jonathan Pedro

Star Tribune: St. Paul guaranteed income helps families of color

They were 150 young families already on fragile financial footing when COVID-19 inflicted even more pain. All welcomed newborns to their families in 2020. They all suffered direct economic fallout from the pandemic, including furloughs, lost jobs and lost child care. More than 80% of families identify as people of color and nearly half live on the city's East Side.

Read on StarTribune.com
Michael Tubbs, Mayor of Stockton

Time: MLK Had a Dream of Guaranteed Income. As Mayors of 11 U.S. Cities, We Are Bringing That Dream to Life

In 1967, against a backdrop of massive civil unrest, Dr. Martin Luther King wrote Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? and called for the immediate abolition of poverty. King’s economic dream was the most direct – a guaranteed income for all Americans. This week, more than 50 years later and against a similar backdrop of racial and economic unrest, we mayors are bringing that dream to life.

Read on Time.com
Building services manger Jonathan Pedro

Reuters: U.S. cities try new way to help the poor: give them money

Spurred by the coronavirus pandemic, dozens of U.S. cities are deploying a new tool in their war on poverty: cash. At least 16 cities and counties are handing out no-strings-attached payments to some low-income residents, a Reuters tally found. At least 31 other local governments plan to do so in the months ahead.

Read on Reuters.com
Malissa and her fiance, Jason with baby

Business Insider: Meet a couple living on disability and $500 per month from a guaranteed-income program for families hurt financially by the pandemic

Malissa and her fiance, Jason, take on part-time jobs whenever they can. But between their disabilities and hesitance about workplace exposure to COVID-19, they've been homebound with their two children for most of the past two years. The possibilities opened up for their family when Malissa was chosen for a guaranteed-income pilot program in her hometown of St. Paul, Minnesota.

Read on BusinessInsider.com
Mayor Carter

Star Tribune: Success stories with guaranteed income

One St. Paul family used the extra income to buy a child's winter coat and for rent, groceries and other necessities. A single mother of three said the $500 per month "lifted a big weight" from her budget after she was laid off from her job in the early months of the pandemic.

Read on StarTribune.com
Mayor Carter and Councilmember Jalali at a press conference

MPR: What we can learn from basic income pilot programs

Both Minneapolis and St. Paul recently launched guaranteed income pilot programs that provide monthly payments to low-income families. Programs like these are gaining traction around the nation. MPR News host Angela Davis talks with two experts about basic income programs and what they hope to learn from pilot programs like the ones in the Twin Cities.

Read on MPRNews.org
Woman and child washing dishes

PRISM: Guaranteed basic income recipients in St. Paul describe how the program changed their lives

In 2020, St. Paul, Minnesota, launched a guaranteed basic income pilot project, providing $500 to 150 families for up to 18 months. As part of this first experiment, all participating families are enrolled in CollegeBound St. Paul, a citywide savings account initiative. The program, which went into effect in fall 2020 and is starting to come to a close, has become the latest example of how providing people with a guaranteed income can give communities a boost and impact their work and personal lives. 

Read on PRISMReports.org


Find frequently asked questions about the City's Guaranteed Income pilots. 

Last Edited: February 7, 2024