Articles

Editor’s Picks

Industry News

Edquity, A College Finance Service for Low-Income Learners, Raises $500K in Seed Funding

By Henry Kronk
January 22, 2019

There are numerous organizations, federal bodies, and institutions themselves that work to make higher education more accessible for low-income American earners. But it can be difficult to navigate these resources, identify which funds and/or grants are ideal, and realize where time or money can be saved. Stepping in to help is the Brooklyn-based Edquity. On Tuesday, the edtech and fintech startup announced they’d secured $500,000 in seed funding from the Lumina Foundation. 

What Edquity Brings to the Table

For individuals and families, Edquity operates on a freemium model. Their free basic plan allows high school grads to search and compare schools that will be a good fit both financially and academically. At $5/month, their highly affordable premium option offers students chat support in making decisions, a tool to build customized budgets, the ability to check out all the financial awards on the table, and more. 

The company also offers plans for high schools and colleges as well.

The seed funding from Lumina will be used to develop further tools for learners. These will include safety net features like an emergency referral resource, an emergency aid platform, and a cash-flow management tool. 

The funding has been granted by Lumina Impact Ventures, the VC division of the Lumina Foundation, which focuses on improving college equity and post-secondary success.  

“Lumina Foundation is the leading force in higher education driving research, policy efforts, and innovation around the critical social justice and economic issue of how financial challenges beyond tuition derail the college dreams of far too many learners — particularly low-income learners, first-generation college students, adult learners, and learners of color,” said David Helene, founder and CEO of Edquity, in a statement. “There is no better partner to help us further our student financial success and emergency aid work and position our most vulnerable learners to effectively navigate whatever financial difficulty may inevitably arise on their path to the post-high school credential that is now a prerequisite for not only workforce success but also for achieving social mobility in today’s America.  We are so excited to join forces with Lumina Foundation to see our mission through in a manner that is transformative and able to move the needle on fostering more equitable post-high school outcomes at scale.”

Funding New Tools and Resources

The seed funding from Lumina will be used to develop further tools for learners. These will include safety net features like an emergency referral resource, an emergency aid platform, and a cash-flow management tool.

“Education financing decisions are arguably one of the most critical decisions in a person’s life, as evident by the $1.5 trillion student debt owed by Americans in the first quarter of 2018 as reported by the Federal Reserve.  The American Dream is a façade and a potential nightmare if we do not provide the support system necessary for those who are most vulnerable to be successful in accessing and attaining a post-high school credential, which is increasingly critical in a competitive global and evolving market place, ” said John Duong, Managing Director of Lumina Impact Ventures, in a statement.  “With these major barriers in mind, Lumina Foundation is excited to support and partner with Edquity, which is committed to helping our most vulnerable students grapple with these difficult structural financial challenges in a way that can drive scalable and more equitable credential attainment.”

The new tools developed by Edquity will debut at showcase events at LaGuardia Community College and Nevada State College later this month. 

Featured Image: Matt Ragland, Unsplash.

One Comment

  1. Northwest California University School of Law is the oldest (predating the internet) distance learning law school in the country. As such, of course, it is not ABA-accredited, but does qualify students to sit for tha bar. In California and many other states.