Using Facebook to explain financial aid

Students can receive answers to their financial aid questions using social media sites.

Students can receive answers to their financial aid questions using social media sites.

Between 2008 and 2010, the average tuition at a four-year public university in the United States rose 15 percent. When you’re talking about thousands of dollars, that’s a pretty steep increase. Various organizations have tried to ease the burden of costly tuition by offering students financial aid. The only problem is that the process of obtaining this aid can be quite confusing for kids fresh out of high school. Don’t worry, Beyond 12 has come to the rescue.

“Students are really having a difficult time trying to navigate through the rather complicated financial aid maze,” said Alexandra Bernadotte, CEO of Beyond 12. She believes that her company can provide students struggling to pay for college with the resources needed to obtain financial aid. Her weapon of choice? Facebook.

Using the popular social media site as a discussion platform, Bernadotte’s company provides students with a simple and clear guide through the financial aid process. Students can even talk to experts who will answer whatever questions they have. The software also has a library of materials including samples of successful financial aid request letters.

One of the most promising features of the system is an interactive tool that analyzes student budgets to determine how kids balancing classes with jobs can get the most out of their time and resources.

“Oftentimes, we find that underserved students are typically [bogged] down with managing their time at jobs, schools and applying for more financial aid, so this feature allows them to assess which set of courses they can afford and better manage the time and money that they spend on college,” Bernadotte said.

The major strength of Beyond 12’s system is that it uses a platform that the vast majority of students are intimately familiar with. Providing students with easy answers to complex financial aid questions through social media sites is a fantastic way to address the tuition problem in the United States.

Do you agree that social media is the venue for educating students on such an important topic? Are there other subjects that could benefit from the same approach? Tell us what you think in the comments section below and remember to check out our Facebook page!

Heman Mehta

Heman, aka: He-Man, is the Master of Deep Freeze. He has been with Faronics for more than 8 years and is (of course) the biggest evangelist of Deep Freeze. When not living the "PM Lifestyle", you'll find him travelling the world—his last count was at about 30 countries visited.