On Tuesday, online lending platform SoFi announced it is now offering a six-month grace period for graduates using its newly launched SoFi ReFi program. The online lender revealed:
“We know that the last thing people want to think about during graduation is their student debt. As a result, a lot of graduating students avoid looking into getting better deals on their existing debt. We also know that until now, refinancing has meant giving up the grace period and starting to make loan payments before the ink is dry on your diploma. Who wants that
“Last week, we began helping graduates alleviate their student loan burden by accepting refinancing applications from HBS, Kellogg, Sloan, Stanford GSB and Wharton who wanted to refinance their loans at a better rate. As of today we’re happy to add that any applicant refinancing their federal student loans will also be able to keep their 6-month post-graduation grace period.”
The company also noted its goal is to offer students and graduates the best rate and terms possible.
“When you combine today’s announcement with our recent decision to substantially align our borrower benefits with those offered by the federal government, we think SoFi ReFi offers real value to business school graduates with student loans.”
As previously reported, earlier this fall SoFi launched its Refi and Relax campaign, which the lender explained is on a mission to educate graduates on their refinancing options as a way to relieve the overwhelming stress that comes with carrying student debt.
The lender explained that according to its recent member survey of over 1,200 respondents, eighty-three percent shared that they have felt like they couldn’t relax due to the burden of the debt. Fifty percent of people dealing with student loan debt reported feeling anxious and/or depressed, and fifteen percent of respondents went so far as to talk with a mental health professional about the stress of their student debt.
Update: The six-month grace period was a temporary deal through the SoFi ReFi program. Fixed rates through the ReFi program’s Fixed Rates start at 3.250% APR and variable rates start as low as 2.580% when users enroll in AutoPay with Variable Rates start from 2.580% APR to 7.070% when users enroll in AutoPay.
Following the news that BlueVine secured $49 million during its Series D funding round, the fintech startup announced it was launching a new scholarship program specifically for young entrepreneurs.
The company stated its Young Entrepreneurs Scholarship program aims to motivate and support aspiring business owners in undergraduate and graduate program related to entrepreneurship. Each of the scholarships will be offered during the spring and fall semesters. It was also revealed:
“BlueVine is launching the scholarship program to recognize the contributions of small businesses to their communities, employees and communities. Small businesses play a critical role the nation’s economic growth, and BlueVine wants to reward young people looking to make a difference as entrepreneurs.”
For those interested in applying for the scholarship program, the BlueVine Young Entrepreneurs Scholarship is now open to any full-time student who is at least 18 years old. The applicant may be a high school senior or is already an undergraduate or graduate. They also must have a minimum GPA of 3.3 and submit a 600 to 800-word essay about what drives his or her passion to start their very own business. The essay must also include details about how the scholarship may help them succeed in school and later as an entrepreneur.
- Fall scholarship: essays must be submitted by February 1st
- Spring scholarship: essays must be submitted by September 1st
The essay must be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org, along with most recent school transcript and proof of enrollment for the semester the applicant is being considered for.
Peter Hazlehurst, former CEO of Google Payments Corp., announced on Tuesday the beta launch of his new education crowdfunding platform, AngelScholars.
According to its description, AngelScholars offers up a crowdfunding solution to the scholarship system providing a new and unconventional way of giving back.
“Located in San Carlos, CA, AngelScholars PBC is a crowdfunding platform launched in 2016 to connect a new generation of donors seeking a more impactful engagement with students who need funding. Starting with as little as $50, anyone can easily create or fund a scholarship that they personally believe in. Alternatively, scholars can find and apply for unique opportunities or run their own campaigns based on their unique needs.”
Sharing details about the new funding portal, Hazlehurst stated:
“For as little as $50 dollars AngelScholars makes it possible for people to get involved, have a personalized impact and have control over their donations much like that Phil Knight got when he donated $400 million to Stanford.With AngelScholars, all it takes is a little money, an idea of who you want to support and the willingness to ask for help from your friends on Facebook and Twitter. We do the hard work and verify the Scholars, while also facilitating a connection with them. We’ll make sure the money is spent wisely, and we let you see the impact you are having.”
The platform’s team revealed that scholarships may also be as specific as a coding camp for African-American high school students based in Oakland with a 3.0 GPA who are studying STEM, or as general as school uniforms for kids whose parents make less than $25,000 and live in Atlanta.
Hazlehurst went on to add:
“I benefited first hand from the power of a targeted scholarship, and I wanted a way to make my experience more of the norm than an outlier. We’re using technology and social networks to remove typical barriers to funding education. All that’s left is the desire for an Angel to help kids in a way they believe in, and students who share these same dreams.”