What is Edquity?
Edquity is a technology-enabled, anti-poverty company based in Brooklyn, NY that helps colleges and other postsecondary institutions improve students’ basic needs and financial security by increasing access to emergency resources and funding. Edquity provides partner institutions with a white-labeled mobile app and web platform that offers a holistic approach to both preempting and remediating students’ financial emergencies. The Edquity platform has three key features:
• Evidence-based emergency aid applications for students and disbursement of emergency aid within 48 hours (if emergency aid is offered by the institution)
• Visual map and directory of all on- and off-campus emergency resources
• In addition to offering a student-facing, college-branded version of the Edquity mobile app, college partners receive a data dashboard to demonstrate app usage.
All Edquity partnerships also consist of a live support team with extended hours to answer inquiries from students, custom marketing graphics to drive adoption, and personalized training sessions for administrators and students.
How long does it take to launch with Edquity?
Typically it takes between 5-6 weeks to launch the Edquity platform, assuming no unique product specifications that would require custom development work. Typically, we work with five core stakeholders to accomplish a successful launch:
• Student Accounts / Financial Aid to prepare a file of eligible students to share with Edquity and receive any ongoing reports should financial aid adjustments be necessary. Edquity typically validates on three core attributes: Student Name, DOB and Student ID.
• Marketing / Communications to increase student awareness of the Edquity app and drive use and adoption.
• Technology / Data to facilitate the secure sharing of student information for the purpose of verifying student identity in the application process.
• Student Affairs to ensure Edquity is an extension of your student services and ongoing case management work.
• Advancement to consider any intricacies around the Emergency Aid Fund and use of Edquity data for subsequent fundraising.
How does Edquity determine who receives emergency aid?
At Edquity, we want to make sure students in need of emergency support have the funds and resources they need as soon as possible. We also want to make sure institutions are maximizing their precious and scare emergency aid dollars and that these dollars have the most impact. To do this, we've worked with Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab, Edquity's Chief Strategy Officer and nationally-recognized emergency aid researcher, to develop an evidence-based approach to determining aid distributions.
After students apply for emergency aid through the Edquity app, all submissions are evaluated on a case-by-case basis using our research-driven, evidence-based evaluation system. The goal of the system is to ensure students demonstrating significant need that may cause unenrollment will receive aid.
How do students receive emergency funds?
If a student qualifies for emergency aid they can currently receive funds via direct deposit or through a physical or digital prepaid card.
If the student has a bank account and selects the direct deposit option, Edquity makes a direct cash disbursement to the student within 24-48 hours. If the student does not have a bank account, and chooses the prepaid card option, Edquity loads money onto a physical or digital Visa prepaid gift card via partner.
What does Edquity do with student data?
Data security and user privacy are a top priority for Edquity, and we’ve taken the necessary steps to ensure compliance with FERPA and other policies that protect students. With regard to social service referrals and general utilization, Edquity provides de-identified (or anonymized) data to the schools and organizations we work with in the form of an analytics dashboard. With regard to applications for Emergency Aid, Edquity provides full-reporting (only to the school) via the same analytics dashboard. Edquity does not sell, rent, or share user data with third parties.
Can students apply for funds multiple times?
Yes. Institutional partners have full control over program length and ability to reapply.
How does the application process work in terms of review?
In an effort to eliminate any implicit bias that manifests in application interviews and interactions with students that can contribute to a culture of “performing poverty”, there is no human that physically reviews student emergency fund applications. After students apply for emergency funds through the Edquity app, all submissions are evaluated on a case-by-case basis using our research-driven, evidence-based evaluation system. The goal of the system is to ensure students demonstrating significant need that may cause unenrollment will receive funds.
What is the step-by-step process with the SFTP set-up?
The student verification process is essential during the implementation journey with Edquity. We require a file transfer from the school to be made (via SFTP set-up).
A specific folder that will include the list of eligible students will be locked down in that particular folder in our AWS server, and segmented accordingly. This process enables us to verify each student submitting an Emergency Aid application based on the eligibility factors specified below by the College:
• Based on Partner decision
Confirmed Data Validation Criteria for File: (minimum requirement -as reflected in their system)
• First Name
• Last Name
• Student ID number
• Date of Birth