Dealflow | February 3, 2019

Edquity raises early funding to help students weather financial strain

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, February 3 – New York-based education venture Edquity has secured $500,000 from Lumina Foundation’s impact investment arm to help students at risk of skipping or leaving college due to financial stress.

The average tuition for four-year in-state colleges in the U.S. is over $10,000 per year ($21,000 with room and board). Edquity has developed financial planning tools for students, families and schools so students can identify schools suitable to their individual academic and financial circumstances. Its software is also meant to help colleges identify students at risk of dropping out for financial reasons, and help them secure financial aid and emergency funding.

Edquity focuses on serving low-income students, college students of color, first-generation college students, and adult learners. “We know technology has never and will never solve structural poverty,” Edquity’s founder David Helene wrote on Medium. “We believe that technology has a transformative role to play in providing for more equitable postsecondary outcomes and supporting our most financially vulnerable college students.”

Backing from Lumina Impact Ventures will support Edquity’s launch in partnership with LaGuardia Community College in Queens, N.Y., which serves 45,000 mostly low-income and minority students, and Nevada State College, a four-year public college in Nevada that caters to first-generation college students.

Edquity has also been backed by Wells Fargo, the Center for Financial Services, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the New Schools Venture Fund, EdSurge reports.