iGrad’s platform at Emerson College includes comprehensive customized and interactive information for students, including how to build and maintain good credit, budgeting and money management tips and tools, and student loan/debt management information and loan calculators.
Emerson College Vice President of Enrollment Management Ruthanne Madsen said the college has prioritized the infusion of financial wellness and educational information into student and family interactions with its Financial Aid, Student Success and Student Accounts teams.
“Emerson has increased its financial literacy efforts for students and families in recent years and the new iGrad platform is one of many examples of this,” said Madsen.
Emerson Director of Financial Wellness, Education and Communications Carol Smolinsky said iGrad’s student loan tracking tool will be particularly useful to the student population. The tool aggregates student loan balances and estimates monthly payments, helping to prepare students for these payments after graduation.
“I’m excited to share the scholarship opportunities and student loan borrowing and repayment tools that the platform provides, as debt management continues to be a top priority for the college and its families,” Smolinsky said.
Research shows that financial literacy programs can decrease financial stress, improve academic performance and teach students how to manage their finances for a lifetime. With declining enrollment and degree-achievement rates, bolstering student financial literacy is a priority for many colleges and universities. Since the start of the pandemic, college enrollment has declined 5.1 percent, with “unprecedented” declines among students from low-income or high-poverty high schools, according to a new report by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Data from the National Center for Education Statistics shows that, even pre-pandemic, the degree achievement rate for all students nationally was only about 62 percent.
“College students are facing tremendous financial challenges impacting enrollment, graduation rates and the level of student loan debt,” said iGrad Vice President of Business Development Donna Miller.
iGrad is currently used by more than 600 public and private colleges and universities of all sizes, including Columbia University, UC Berkeley, New York University and Davidson College.
Based on artificial intelligence and proprietary algorithms, iGrad personalizes financial information for each student’s situation and needs. It also offers tools, quizzes, videos, articles and a library of multimedia content. Because it adapts to each user’s specific circumstances, it can even provide interactive educational content on retirement and mortgages to those who need it.
iGrad is a San Diego-based financial technology company that offers artificial intelligence-powered financial wellness solutions to more than 600 colleges and universities, more than 20,000 employers and more than 300 financial institutions. iGrad’s Your Money Personality™ was recently recognized by the Institute for Financial Literacy with the 2020 Excellence in Financial Literacy Education (EIFLE) Adults’ Education Program of the Year award. iGrad is one of three 2020 honorees in the inaugural Barron’s Celebrates: Financial Empowerment, after being selected by a team of judges for its contributions to improving the financial health and security of Americans. iGrad also received the 2019 Eddy Award for Financial Wellness by Pensions & Investments for its Enrich platform. For more information about the iGrad platform, visit https://www.igradfinancialwellness.com. For more information about the Enrich platform for employers and financial institutions, visit https://www.enrich.org.
About Emerson College
Based in Boston, Emerson College educates individuals who will solve problems and change the world through engaged leadership in communication and the arts, a mission informed by liberal learning. The college has 3,780 undergraduates and 670 graduate students from across the United States and 50 countries. Supported by state-of-the-art facilities and a renowned faculty, students participate in more than 90 student organizations and performance groups. Emerson is known for its experiential learning programs around the world and has an active network of 39,000 alumni who hold leadership positions in communication and the arts. For more information, visit http://www.emerson.edu.