“Last Gap” Loans: Using Predictive Analytics to Guide Low-Income Students to Graduation
Today’s discourse on student debt focuses on two topics: (1) retroactive cancellation of debt; and (2) dramatically reducing the cost of college. These are both worthy goals. But tens of thousands of students need help today. And we can put data to work to give them the right financial resources at the right time. Each year, thousands of students drop out of college due to small funding gaps, often as low as $300. These gaps are particularly frustrating for students who have exhausted their financial aid and are ineligible for additional support from traditional lenders due to low FICO scores. Funding U aims to help solve this small piece of the college completion puzzle by providing microloans to high-performing students based on their hard work, tenacity, and focus—not the trappings of generational wealth. In this session, Funding U’s founder, Jeannie Tarkenton, will share the data she leverages to help low-income students facing “last gap” funding hurdles. She’ll also discuss how colleges and universities can augment existing data systems to connect students with income-appropriate financial relief.