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

The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the gateway to college. Yet many students struggle to complete it. In 2019, we created Wyatt, an AI-powered digital advisor to helps high school seniors navigate the FAFSA from beginning to end.

  • So far, Wyatt has helped over 30,000 students complete the FAFSA, securing nearly $40 million in need-based federal grants.
  • Students using Wyatt complete the FAFSA at higher rates and earlier than non-users, increasing the amount of aid they may receive.

Learn more about Wyatt at GetFAFSAHelp.org.

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

Benefits Access for Student Success: Join the Learning Collaborative

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Press Release

Benefits Data Trust Shares New Resource to Help Colleges Improve Student Access to More than $3 Billion in Untapped Aid

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Toolkit

Benefits Access for Student Success: A Toolkit For Leveraging Data to Find Eligible Students

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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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Media Coverage

This chatbot helps underserved students access aid for college

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Blog

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

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Media Coverage

National non-profit organization connects students with needed public benefits

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