Help Under-Resourced, Financially Stressed Students Earn a College Degree
Low-income students who graduate high school are often faced with a tough choice when it comes to continuing their education due to the tremendous financial barriers of college tuition - even after financial aid. Over the years, the financial stress can become too much of a burden and in the end a bright, promising student is often forced to drop out without a degree. Only 16 percent of low-income high school graduates in the country will complete a bachelors degree in six years. Unsurprisingly, over 70 percent of those who leeav college cite high expenses and needing to work to make money as their main causes for leaving.
Using the latest practices in technology, Moneythink presents a smart three-pronged solution to help financially vulnerable students plan and succeed through college. It starts with design. Each student is different. Every story is unique. Moneythink customizes its support for each student's path to success seamlessly. Next, personal financial coaches are always there for students, mostly through text messages and phone calls—no extra paperwork or time commitments necessary for the student. Finally, Moneythink partners with high schools and community organizations to pull together to alleviate burdens for students so they can focus on studies and invest in themselves and a better future.
Over the past two years, Moneythink has supported over 1,500 students. Currently, 792 students are enrolled in the program with an additional 1,000 onboarding in the next month. Since April 2017, 162,895 texts have been sent and received. The percentage of high school seniors opting into Moneythink is increasing year over year: 83% in 2016, 90% in 2017, 95% in 2018. Compared to non-Moneythink students, the program's participants experience a 16% increase in FAFSA completion in the states of California and Illinois.