edquity.co

Edquity

Of  the nearly 50% of college students who drop out, 70% do so for financial  reasons, making it by far the number one driver of dropout. This issue is  disproportionately concentrated among low-income students, four-of-five of  whom drop out. At the same time, a new student is going into loan default  every 29 seconds, with those who drop out driving most default incidences and  with students of color and women disproportionately bearing the brunt of this  pain. Unsurprisingly, 39% of students now report willingly dropping out of  college due to a fear of accumulating more debt. Edquity is the first of its  kind college financial matching, planning, FAFSA completion, and success  platform for high school and college students, supporting students through  every financial decision on the road to college graduation. Edquity first  prescribes a list of financially optimal four-year colleges or two-to-four  year pathways for students based on students' individual academic and  financial circumstances and factors that include projected debt,  debt-to-income ratio, projected earnings by school and career path,  graduation and transfer rates, unique support systems like opportunity  program eligibility, food pantries, and emergency grant programs, social  mobility, unemployment rate, and percentage of students who are able to repay  their debt. Next, it automates the development of a financial plan for  college success for each school of interest based on students' personal  spending preferences, living circumstances and needs, the geographic cost of  living, the projected availability of work, and true financial aid. Edquity  then supports students through the electronic submission of their financial  aid with our turbotax-for-FAFSA product. It then helps students interpret and  use their financial aid award letters to update their financial plans for  college success to inform their college decision. Finally, it bridges the gap  between intention and action by integrating students' bank and spending and  providing a three pillar framework to provide for holistic student financial  success:

 1) Personal financial management for students, with a safe-to-spend number,  financial aid income disbursed like a paycheck, categorized expenses, and an  "emergency mode" safe-to-spend threshold that can trigger help from  the college.

 2) A repository of emergency resources on and around campus (i.e., food  pantries, legal aid services, housing supports, benefits screenings, etc),  with time- and event-based push notifications to access these resources  during times of crisis (e.g., "It's lunchtime.  Are you hungry?  There are two food pantries with 1 mile of  you.); and 

 3) An emergency mode, which a) alerts the college when a student may be  vulnerable to shock and b) allows a student to immediately apply for  emergency aid through the app.