SAN DIEGO—Leading financial wellness company iGrad has partnered with Grand Valley State University to provide a customized, interactive online and mobile financial wellness platform to students in the Michigan public university’s TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) Classic and STEM-Health Sciences programs.
“We ultimately chose iGrad because of the robust offering of tools and information. iGrad is knowledge and skill based with pre- and post-testing capabilities. We also have the ability to choose our course content, education modules and learning tools based on what we believe is best for our students.” - William G. Washington III, Ph.D., GVSU’s director of TRIO SSS Classic
TRIO SSS is a federally funded, comprehensive support program for students from disadvantaged backgrounds in their pursuit of a college degree. The iGrad™ artificial intelligence-powered financial literacy platform launched in December to the approximately 500 students in GVSU’s TRIO Classic and STEM-Health Sciences programs.1 iGrad is currently used by more than 600 colleges and universities, including Ohio State University, Arizona State University and Columbia University.
William G. Washington III, Ph.D., GVSU’s director of TRIO SSS Classic, said that a primary goal of implementing iGrad is to increase the financial literacy skills of TRIO students, a population that is at higher risk of dropping out, not graduating within four years, and graduating with higher financial burdens..
“We ultimately chose iGrad because of the robust offering of tools and information,” Washington said. “iGrad is knowledge and skill based with pre- and post-testing capabilities. We also have the ability to choose our course content, education modules and learning tools based on what we believe is best for our students.”
Data from the National Center for Education Statistics reveals that, even pre-pandemic, the degree achievement rate for all students nationally was only about 62 percent.2 Lower-income students fare far worse, with only a 21 percent chance of earning a degree in six years.2
Research shows that financial literacy programs can lower student loan defaults, decrease financial stress, improve academic performance and teach students how to manage their finances for a lifetime.
“The pandemic has hit first-generation, students of color and low-income students especially hard, which will only amplify the student loan crisis,” said iGrad vice president of business development Donna Miller. “Now more than ever, it’s important that college students—particularly those in vulnerable populations—understand financial aid, student loans, budgeting, credit scores and more.”
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. Included in the iGrad platform is a student loan tracking tool which aggregates student loan balances and estimates monthly payments, helping to prepare students for these payments after graduation. It adapts to each user’s specific circumstances, even providing 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 http://www.enrich.org.
1 - https://www.gvsu.edu/trio/
2 - https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_ctr.asp