Edquity’s research-informed approach to distributing emergency aid

When we say “research-informed,” we mean it. We created the first-ever emergency aid platform hand-in-hand with our Chief Strategy Officer, Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab, the nation’s leading expert on student basic needs insecurity.

Dr. Goldrick-Rab, who won Temple University’s first-ever Carnegie Fellowship, is a professor and research scientist whose work focuses on policies that aim to reduce socioeconomic and racial inequalities.

In addition to leading the first experimental trial of need-based financial aid, and conducting research funded by numerous federal agencies, Dr. Goldrick-Rab founded The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice. Since 2013, The Hope Center has conducted the leading research on emergency aid and student basic needs insecurity.

Moreover, Dr. Goldrick-Rab has authored numerous policy reports and literature on the subject of college financial insecurity, including the book Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream. The Chronicle of Higher Education once referred to Dr. Goldrick-Rab as “a defender of impoverished students, and a scholar of their struggles.”

"The evidence is clear: cash transfers are essential to addressing widespread financial precarity among college students. Delivering that support quickly and with minimal red tape is essential to ensuring that students succeed." – Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab, Chief Strategy Officer

Thanks to Dr. Goldrick-Rab, our emergency aid platform is rooted in both conceptual and empirical evidence on today’s students. Moreover, it draws extensively from both her own expertise and the broader fields of sociology, psychology, and economics.

When we built our equity-focused platform, our goal was simple: ensure that students who demonstrate significant need, and are at risk of dropping out, receive aid when they need it. As such, we take a holistic approach to gauging students’ financial issues and examine their challenges across a variety of basic needs categories — including housing, food, health, transportation, childcare, safety, and learning resources.

More so, when developing our first-of-its-kind system for evaluating need, we took significant steps to reduce bias. With Edquity, students never have to worry about a complicated application or a stressful interview, where they have to “perform their poverty” and open themselves up to judgment, recreate their trauma, or feel shame. Moreover, we’ve reduced the potential for gender, racial or class bias by ensuring such classifications aren’t factors in application decisions.

Additionally, we’ve ensured that students can complete the emergency aid process efficiently. Students complete their application in an average of 7 minutes, and the Edquity platform quickly reviews their responses. Our processing is complete in a matter of hours and, if approved, we make sure that students have access to their emergency grant within 24 hours.

"A lot of people would benefit from this. It’s easy, there’s no paper. This is super simple and quick. I need help, I don’t need to be writing an essay.” – Student Interviewee

As we bring Edquity to more students, one of our goals is make it as easy as possible to ask for help. With the Edquity platform, you can relieve staff members from the time-intensive processing of applications, and use our research-driven approach to distribute funds fairly, quickly and reliably. We want to ensure every student experiences a culture of care and compassion. By leveraging our user-friendly, evidence- based technology, we’re able to meet students where they are, and together, we can make sure that they’re able to stay in school and achieve their goals, no matter the obstacle.

Considering how to make your institution’s emergency aid program more effective? See how Edquity can help you make your aid fast, equitable, and high impact, Schedule a Demo

Written by
Edquity Team

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