Higher Education

Investing in Student Success

Increasingly, today's college students are parents or caregivers, the first in their families to go to college, financially independent, and/or seeking retraining for a new career. They face unique stressors as they juggle responsibilities at home and at school — and that leaves millions of students struggling to pay for college and afford basic necessities such as food, childcare, housing, and healthcare.

At BDT, we invest in several higher education initiatives to expand access to college and student success.

Unlocking Millions in Financial Aid

For aspiring college students, completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a critical step towards college enrollment yet many students struggle to complete the application. In 2019, we created Wyatt®, a text message-based chatbot that helps high school seniors navigate the FAFSA from beginning to end.

  • Since its inception, Wyatt has helped more than 30,000 students complete the FAFSA, securing an estimated $39 million in need-based federal grants.
  • Students who use Wyatt not only complete the FAFSA at higher rates, but also tend to complete it earlier than non-users, increasing the amount of aid they may receive.

Connecting Students to Vital Assistance

Today's college students face significant barriers to completing their degrees, including experiencing food and housing insecurity. Only 1 in 3 students who enroll at two-year institutions actually graduate. We've partnered with community colleges to connect students with benefit programs like SNAP, Medicaid, and the childcare subsidy so they can focus on their studies, and worry less about paying for their meals and other basic needs.

Higher Education Highlights

Blog

Helping students secure basic needs

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Fact Sheet

Securing basic needs for college students through benefits access

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News Feature

This chatbot helps underserved students access aid for college

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Blog

Building innovative tools to support college students

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Blog

Connecting students to financial aid: Wyatt pilot results show how AI chatbot can help

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Blog

Meet Wyatt: the free FAFSA chatbot for students

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News Feature

National non-profit organization connects students with needed public benefits

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