Applying for college is an exhausting and difficult process. It's also archaic and riddled with inaccurate advice from well-meaning but misinformed people This is the pain point the Schoold mobile app seeks to solve.
The Schoold mobile app provides a start to finish experience for students on their journey to finding and applying to the college best suited to their needs. Users input several different types of information from their family's income, to ACT and SAT scores, GPA, personal interests, and long term goals.
The app then provides individual users counseling based upon their profile. Counselors give feedback on what students and parents can expect during their search, the best choices for traditional and non-traditional financial aid, and salary ranges based upon their career goals once they'e graduated. These salaries vary based upon data provided by the schools. An accounting degree from the University of Washington will have a different salary range than the same degree from Villanova.
The app also provides users access to experts in the application process, career advice, and program expectations from real people. All of this is shown in a format like an Instagram feed so students can interact in real time and get feedback as quick as possible.
CEO Sourabh Ahuja moved into the Edtech space from Glu Mobile after a successful run developing multiple games. His mobile gaming experience gives him unique insight into building engaging user interfaces that capture the attention of students.
He said the primary focus of Schoold is assembling the fragmented data scattered around the college recruiting world and putting in one spot where everyone an use it. When I asked for an example, he said "If your family makes less than $125,000 per year your tuition to Stanford is free. Not everyone knows that."
In the research for this post, I was amazed at the amount of content on the company FAQ page. There are 26 total entries with more than four questions under each heading. Most companies have a few simple entries on a FAQ page. Schoold did serious work to provide accurate information.
Mike Bruno is the CFO of Schoold. He brings real financial acumen to the team with his experience from JP Morgan and Vemo Education. Sourabh said Mike handles the money and numbers and makes things simple so he can focus on product development.
Vemo Education is an interesting company. They offer alternative education funding that isn't like traditional loans and grants. This was another pain point Sourabh wanted to solve with the app. With Bruno's background, the issue is easily addressed.
The third arm of this high functioning team is COO Joe Ross. He brings a solid education background to the company from his time as a board member and Vice President of the San Mateo County Board of Education. Sourabh and Joe met through a common connection from Glu Mobile. Joe's role is keeping the company informed on the current climate in the education world.
Schoold raised $4.5 million from two major investors on April 1. Lorne Abony and his company FastForward Innovations look poised to capitalize on the growing mobile usage young people demand. His connections with Vemo Education indicate a partnership aimed at solving the financing pain point the mainstream media love to chatter about.
The growing frustration with the colossal student loan debt levels combined with a well-designed app and new ways to fund education for a younger, more mobile, and technologically savvy generation looks like a great combination.