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.

The People's Prosperity Pilot is being evaluated by the Center for Guaranteed Income Research at the University of Pennsylvania, and results are scheduled to be released in 2023. 

Who was Eligible for the People’s Prosperity Pilot? 

People’s Prosperity Pilot participants were selected at random from families with CollegeBound Saint Paul savings accounts and met with staff from the City’s Office of Financial Empowerment to enroll in the program. The Office of Financial Empowerment reached out to families through mail, email, or phone to inform them that they had been selected. Since only the families that were randomly selected were eligible, there was not an open application to apply to the People’s Prosperity Pilot. 

Those randomly selected to participate were eligible if they met the following criteria: 

  • They are Saint Paul resident with a child with a CollegeBound Saint Paul account. 
  • They are not employees of or elected officials in the City of Saint Paul. 
  • They must have been impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as: 
    • being furloughed, laid off, or having work hours reduced due to COVID-19; or 
    • being unable to work due to a COVID-19 diagnosis for you, your spouse or partner, or your dependent; or 
    • being unable to work due to a lack of childcare due to COVID-19; or 
    • closing or reducing hours of a business that you own or operate due to COVID-19; 
  • They must meet the income eligibility guidelines. 

Guaranteed Income in the News

CollegeBound family photo

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 more on Twincities.com
Mayor Carter

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
Mayor Carter

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

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

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

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

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 more 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 more on PRISMReports.org
Graphic illustration of person and dollar bill as stairs

Axios: St. Paul mayor proposes expanded guaranteed basic income program

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter is looking to launch a second, expanded phase of the city's guaranteed basic income pilot program that would include expecting parents, Axios has learned.

Read more on Axios.com
Jack Dorsey

Twitter CEO boosts guaranteed income programs in St. Paul, nationwide

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is donating $15 million to programs across the country, the Mayors for a Guaranteed Income group announced Tuesday. The more than two dozen mayors participating in the group, including St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, will each receive up to $500,000 to grow or sustain their programs. This builds on Dorsey’s initial $3 million donation last summer.

Read on StarTribune.com


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

Last Edited: July 12, 2023