SAN DIEGO--The San Diego-based financial wellness company iGrad has partnered with Montclair State University to provide its customized, interactive online and mobile student financial wellness platform to the New Jersey public university’s more than 20,000 students.
iGrad’s platform at Montclair includes comprehensive customized and interactive information on everything from building and maintaining good credit, budgeting and money management to student loan/debt management and loan calculators.
Montclair’s iGrad partnership is its first university-wide financial literacy initiative, which will be available to students, faculty and staff. Offering iGrad’s accessible, user-friendly online platform is the institution’s first step in building a comprehensive financial literacy program.
“Financial literacy is a national conversation, and making sure our community members have a tool that they can use, at their own pace, to increase their knowledge and help make more informed financial decisions is of paramount importance,” said Montclair Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Junius Gonzales. “Using the iGrad tool at Montclair State University will also help students develop skills that will not only help them navigate their time in college, but will also serve them well as they begin their careers after graduation.”
Located in Montclair, N.J., Montclair is the second largest university in the state. More than half of its students identify as underrepresented minorities. It is one of New Jersey’s two Hispanic-Serving Institutions, serving more Latinx students than any other university in the state.
Research shows that financial literacy programs can decrease financial stress, improve academic performance and teach students how to manage their finances for a lifetime.
Bolstering student financial literacy is a priority for many colleges and universities. Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, college enrollment has declined 5.1 percent, with “unprecedented” declines among students from low-income or high-poverty high schools, according to a recent report1 by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Data from the National Center for Education Statistics2 shows that, even pre-pandemic, the degree achievement rate for all students nationally was only about 62 percent.
Montclair has defied these trends, welcoming its largest incoming class and total enrollment in school history in the fall of 2022. The university also ranked seventh in the nation among 440 national universities in graduation rate performance – the rate at which students out-perform the anticipated graduation rate of those with similar backgrounds at other schools – in the U.S. News & World Report 2022-2023 Best Colleges guidebook.
By partnering with iGrad, Montclair is giving students another essential tool as part of a holistic educational experience and intentionally furthering the financial literacy conversation.
“Students, colleges and universities are facing tremendous financial challenges that impact enrollment, graduation rates and the level of student loan debt, which is already the second-largest category of debt in the country,” said iGrad Vice President of Business Development Donna Miller. “Montclair has prioritized student financial literacy and we are thrilled to be a key part of their efforts.”
iGrad is currently used by more than 650 public and private colleges and universities of all sizes, including Wake Forest University, University of North Georgia, Emerson College and Cleveland State University.
Based on artificial intelligence and proprietary algorithms, iGrad personalizes financial information for each student’s situation and needs. It also offers:
- Tools, quizzes, videos, articles and a library of multimedia content.
- A student loan tracking tool which aggregates student loan balances and estimates monthly payments, helping to prepare students for these payments after graduation.
- Because it adapts to each user’s specific circumstances, it can even provide interactive educational content on retirement and mortgages to those who need it.
iGrad is a San Diego-based financial technology company that provides artificial intelligence-powered financial wellness solutions to more than 2.7 million students at 650 colleges and universities, over 20,000 employers and over 300 financial institutions.
iGrad’s Your Money Personality™ was recently recognized by the Institute for Financial Literacy with the 2020 Excellence in Financial Literacy Education (EIFLE) Adults’ Education Program of the Year award. iGrad is one of three 2020 honorees in the inaugural Barron's Celebrates: Financial Empowerment, after being selected by a team of judges for its contributions to improving the financial health and security of Americans. iGrad recently received the 2022 Eddy Award for Financial Wellness by Pensions & Investments for its Enrich platform.
For more information about the iGrad platform, visit https://www.igradfinancialwellness.com. For more information about the Enrich platform for employers and financial institutions, visit http://www.enrich.org.
1 - https://nscresearchcenter.org/current-term-enrollment-estimates/
2 - https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_ctr.asp