Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab, Leading Expert on Student Basic Needs Insecurity and Emergency Aid, Joins Edquity as Chief Strategy Officer
Dr. Goldrick-Rab Oversees Edquity's New Direct Disbursement Emergency Aid Work
BROOKLYN, N.Y., June 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Edquity, a Brooklyn-based student financial success and emergency aid company supporting students through every financial decision on the road to college graduation, has announced that Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab has joined its team as Chief Strategy Officer, Emergency Aid. Dr. Goldrick-Rab will also continue to serve as Professor of Higher Education Policy & Sociology at Temple University and Founding Director of the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice in Philadelphia, the nation's leading center spearheading innovative research efforts on food and housing insecurity in higher education. Bringing two decades of research and practical experience, Dr. Goldrick-Rab will oversee the continued development of and innovation around Edquity's suite of emergency aid offerings for students. Most immediately, she will support the launch of Edquity's expanded emergency aid offering, which the company will pilot with students and institutions beginning in early fall 2019.
"There is no person on the planet better positioned to identify how to best design and manage innovative emergency aid solutions for students than Sara Goldrick-Rab," said David Helene, Founder & CEO of Edquity. "Through her tireless and innovative research efforts and her unwillingness to settle for anything less than true social justice, Sara has galvanized a national movement around providing for students' basic needs and emergency aid in this country – one that has already yielded tremendous results for students and the higher education community at large. There's far more to be done around #RealCollege, however, and we're so excited for the opportunity to roll up our sleeves and work with the leading force in the space to better support students around emergency aid and tackle the challenging structural financial barriers that make emergency aid an unfortunate necessity for our students in the first place."
Dr. Goldrick-Rab has overseen the largest national studies on the scale and scope of chronic basic needs issues affecting college students as well as numerous research efforts into the structure and efficacy of emergency aid programs at different colleges across the country. Her most recent book, Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream, which was featured on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, is the most thorough investigation to date into the financial barriers that college students must navigate on their way to a degree. The book won the 2018 Grawemeyer Award in Education, which came with a $100,000 prize that Dr. Goldrick-Rab promptly donated to the FAST Fund, a nonprofit she started to get emergency aid to students.
"Students all over the country are struggling with what I call the 'new economics of college' - I know this from my research, from my activism, and from my work directly with hundreds of students. After years of studying and advising on emergency aid practices at colleges across the country, and even running my own program, I've concluded that a new approach is necessary. We have to make life easier for #RealCollege institutions and their students by ensuring that when a student is in trouble, funds move quickly to meet their needs and help them stay in college. I'm excited to join Edquity to develop a scalable product that can meet this challenge and bridge the gaps created by a broken financial aid system," explained Dr. Goldrick-Rab.
Dr. Goldrick-Rab will directly oversee the launch of Edquity's expanded emergency aid program for students in a number of fall pilots, which will serve as a natural extension of Edquity's existing cash-flow management and emergency resource referral platform, Edquity, that currently supports students around student financial health and basic needs insecurity. The expanded program, which like Edquity's existing platform will be entirely free to students, will provide students with access to direct and immediate emergency grants in times of financial stress. Additionally, this solution will make available a discounted network of goods and services aligned to consumption areas of high student need, like food, housing, and transportation, to try to bring down monthly costs for students.
Dr. Goldrick-Rab is the second high profile anti-poverty expert to join Edquity in the past few weeks. Wes Moore, the founder of BridgeEDU and the CEO of the Robin Hood Foundation, joined Edquity in a Board role after Edquity's recent acquisition of BridgeEDU.
After Edquity's controlled pilot of its expanded emergency aid offering in the fall, Dr. Goldrick-Rab will support the subsequent scaling of Edquity's platform to additional colleges and districts in 2020.
Founded in 2016 by financial services professional and equity in education champion David Helene, Edquity offers a suite of technology platforms-user-friendly apps for students and data analytics tools for institutions-that collectively provide a one-stop shop for emergency aid and college financial success. Edquity has worked with innovative higher education partners, including LaGuardia Community College and Nevada State College. And in the K-12 sphere, its partners include school districts and non-profit college access organizations such as the New York City Department of Education, District of Columbia Public Schools, IDEA Public Schools and College Possible, among others. Edquity has received more than $1.5 million in funding from innovative investment and philanthropic partners, including the Lumina Foundation, Wells Fargo, Strada Education Network, the Center for Financial Services Information (now the Financial Health Network), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and NewSchools Venture Fund.
CONTACT: Sara Goldrick-Rab
CONTACT: David Helene
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