Frank, a new start-up company, is aiming to revolutionize the process of filling out student loan applications by making it easier for students and helping them find money they otherwise might not realize is accessible. The brainchild of Charlie Javice, the founder and chief executive of the company, Frank started a pilot program in March.
Investors are responding to this company’s mission – Frank has raked in a combined $15.5 million in funding. Frank automates a large portion of the process of filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is one of the primary sources of aid students rely on and hope to secure for their college aspirations.
The Impact Frank Could Have
Most students are eligible for some sort of financial aid, but many potential students don’t realize it. And sometimes when they do understand they’re eligible, they underestimate how much aid they could receive if they go through the process of filling out a FAFSA or digging a little deeper to look for aid sources.
Is Frank Worth It for Students?
Students can access Frank for free to help with the FAFSA process, but there is also a premium service the company charges $49 to perform. With that premium package, a student gets a FAFSA review conducted by a financial aid officer and corrections to the application which can help students get the most aid available to them.
While spending money for something a student can do on their own for free may not seem like the best financial decision, it can benefit students in the long run if they gain additional aid from the premium package. Any extra financial aid found during that premium review would easily eclipse the fee Frank charges for the service. On the flipside, this could be detrimental. Spending money to borrow more money could be helpful in some cases, but for some people, it may not be ideal.
It also offers another option, which is pricier than the premium service. For a fee of $500, students can have an expert negotiation, which is designed to maximize how much money they receive in aid. With this package though, a student will only have to pay the fee if the negotiation works.
That helps take some of the risk out of the investment in their educational future. According to the website, approximately 80 percent of students who appeal their aid through Frank will end up with more aid than they began with.
To date, Frank’s website said it has assisted students in saving $5.5 billion overall. That amount is spread out over the 200,000 families Frank has worked with so far.
Frank’s assistance isn’t only limited to four-year universities and colleges. It can also help students who are applying to technical colleges or vocational schools. The company also assists veterans who want to attend school after years in the military – they sometimes struggle to get the benefits they’re entitled to through the GI Bill.
Author: Andrew Rombach
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