Even Staff

2016-01-16

The High Costs of Undergrad Tuition

the-high-costs-of-undergrad-tuition

The status quo in higher education cannot hold. Year after year, families face the grueling process of trying to send their kids to schools they can’t afford, turning what should be a joyful time into a stress-fueled anxiety spiral. As soon as those coveted acceptance letters come in, the question changes from “Where am I going to go to school?” to “How the hell are we going to afford this?” As attorney Steve Cohen wrote for TIME earlier this year, financial aid options remain slim for middle-class families. They’re oftentimes expected to contribute up to $20,000 a year to their kids’ college tuition, which in a lackluster economy is an all-but-impossible feat. Tuition costs have risen more than 1200 percent since 1978, a staggering increase that places more and more strain on prospective students and their families. The high costs of undergraduate tuition, let alone graduate programs, have long forced students to saddle themselves with loan debt they can’t repay. In fact, undergraduate debt may have influenced a recent decline in graduate enrollment numbers. Public schools with strained budgets can’t offer as much as they once might have in tuition assistance, making grad programs a harder sell for qualified students. At some point, the bottom has to fall out. A Forbes contributor called higher ed “ground zero for disruption” last year, but what exactly would that look like? Many jobs call for a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, meaning that people risk being shut out of opportunities if they opt not to go to school. And as Jason Saltzman wrote for Entrepreneur, the networks you build in college, whether through Greek life, classes, or other activities, can help you build a successful career. Still, the Internet enables people from a variety of backgrounds to study virtually any subject, create a portfolio of work, and demonstrate their skills without ever enrolling in an undergraduate program. Sites such as edx.org offer courses from elite schools such as Harvard and MIT, and platforms like Udemy and Lynda sell trainings and tutorials on an incredible array of topics. A rise in entrepreneurial culture could also spur a shift away from traditional schooling, as would-be founders seek apprenticeships and use online tools to access business trainings. Initiatives such as BMW’s Scholars Program allows people to work and attend classes, where they develop skills that they can use in their work at the company’s South Carolina manufacturing plant. Billionaire entrepreneur Peter Thiel established a fellowship to entice students away from college and into the startup world, many of whom have seen massive success through the program. Paul Gu, co-founder of the alternative lending site Upstart, is one of the program’s notable graduates. While not every student has entrepreneurial aspirations, many may decide to skip college in favor of real-world work experience and zero debt. Another Forbes contributor noted that people who are uncertain about school can rise quickly from entry-level jobs straight out of high school and can make a decent living by studying in trade programs to be a plumber or electrician. The Internet has also created countless opportunities for selling products through sites like Etsy and Shopify, making money from affiliate marketing, and monetizing personal blogs and video channels. Think of the 17-year-old behind Origami Owl, the $250 million jewelry business. She’ll never have to worry about student loans, and it’s not impossible to replicate her success. Many bloggers and online owners publish courses and sell trainings in how to build businesses, market your consulting services, and create a profitable author following. People can achieve their dream jobs for a fraction of what it would cost them to attend a four-year school. While college is still a formative experience, there is an ever-growing number of ways to build a career and make a living that doesn’t require a degree. As tuition costs remain high and young generations’ disillusionment with debt increases, it’s not unlikely that people will seek alternatives to college and graduate programs.

 

 

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Goldman Sachs-backed Even Financial, a digital matchmaker between banks and customers, just bought an insurance startup as life insurers are seeing policy applications boom

Even Financial has acquired LeapLife, a leading insurtech platform. The addition of LeapLife allows Even to immediately commence its insurance capabilities, aimed at simplifying and enhancing the way consumers search, compare, and get matched with insurance policies (LeapLife’s existing platform will continue to operate from leaplife.com). Business Insider wrote an article about it, interviewing our CEO and Founder Phill Rosen.

Even Financial Launches Insurance Offerings With Strategic Acquisition of LeapLife, a Leading Insurtech Platform

Pioneering B2B Fintech Expands its Industry-Leading Financial Services Monetization Platform to Help Insurance Carriers Find and Connect with Consumers New York, New York – April 22, 2020 – Even Financial (Even), the leading API for financial services search, acquisition, and monetization, announced today that it will be launching services for the insurance industry through the acquisition of LeapLife, an insurtech platform and digital life insurance agency.  The addition of LeapLife allows Even to immediately commence its insurance capabilities, aimed at simplifying and enhancing the way consumers search, compare, and get matched with insurance policies (LeapLife’s existing platform will continue to operate from leaplife.com). Even and LeapLife now offer the only full end-to-end, multi-carrier digital life insurance marketplace experience. Over the coming weeks, Even will further integrate LeapLife’s technology and insurance offering into its industry-leading API, making turnkey insurance marketplaces programmatically available to a vast network of channel partners — when and where their consumers are most in need — while also enabling the company to expand to other insurance sectors, including homeowners, renters and auto insurance. This adds to Even’s peerless breadth of real-time, personalized financial product offers — an expansive suite that already includes loans, savings, credit cards, and more.  “Even’s goal to evolve how financial institutions find and connect with consumers is not limited to loans or credit cards, but applicable to all financial products and services, including insurance,” said Phill Rosen, Even Founder and CEO. “Despite its importance, purchasing life insurance is often an overwhelming and inconvenient experience. With more than $600 billion in premiums paid each year, and only 6% of policies sold completely online, we see tremendous opportunities to help modernize the life insurance industry and offer solutions that solve challenges for consumers and carriers alike.”  LeapLife is an established insurtech platform and digital life insurance agency that utilizes data science, deep underwriting knowledge, and proprietary technology, enabling consumers to apply for instant-decision life insurance policies with real-time quotes. LeapLife works with many best-in-class insurance carriers to offer consumers a seamless experience from beginning to end. This approach made Even and Leaplife a perfect match. As a digital insurance broker, LeapLife offers personalized life insurance recommendations based on a consumer’s unique needs. Paired with the Even API, which enables customer acquisition for insurance to be native and programmatic, consumers benefit from a more streamlined, transparent, and highly personalized experience when shopping for life insurance.  Just as Even’s 2018 acquisition of Birch (the award-winning credit card rewards app) allowed the company to accelerate its expansion into credit cards, the addition of LeapLife will similarly put Even at the forefront of consumer insurance offerings.  Charles Svirk of MassMutual Ventures, an investor in Even, said “The Even and LeapLife teams share a vision that the future of insurance acquisition will rely on the power of data-driven, programmatic distribution. We are thrilled to support them as their industry experience, impressive technology, and trusted relationships will help scale Even’s insurance offering and build partnerships to provide these critical innovations in insurance acquisition.” The Even API and platform solve significant, long-standing pain points in financial services acquisition by seamlessly connecting supply and demand. Even has continued its rapid growth trajectory in 2020, surpassing over $1.5 billion in credit issued through its API and expanding its platform to over 400 partners. Even has secured over $55 million in funding from major financial institutions, venture capital firms, and fintechs to back its goal to evolve the financial services acquisition ecosystem.   About Even Financial Founded in 2015, Even Financial is a B2B fintech company that is transforming the way financial institutions find and connect with consumers. By seamlessly bridging financial institutions (including American Express, Goldman Sachs, and SoFi) and channel partners (such as TransUnion and The Penny Hoarder) via its industry-leading API, Even turns any consumer touchpoint into an ROI-driven, fully customizable, programmatic acquisition source for financial product offers with full compliance, security, and scale across loans, savings, credit cards, insurance, and more. Even is backed by leading financial services firms and VCs including American Express Ventures, Canaan Partners, Citi Ventures, F-Prime Capital (Fidelity), Greatpoint Ventures, Goldman Sachs, LendingClub, and MassMutual Ventures. Even is the leading search, comparison, and recommendation engine for financial services. Media Contact: media@evenfinancial.com

Even CEO/Founder Phill Rosen quoted in Protocol Braintrust Newsletter

Our CEO and Founder Phillip Rosen was included in the most recent Protocol Braintrust newsletter along with answers from some thought leaders from Plaid, Slack, and DuckDuckGo!