NextGenVest’s Text-Based Service Helps Keep Students Out of Debt

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The Student Powered Company is Hiring More Paid Interns

Student debt in this country has surpassed the $1.2 trillion mark. The average student loan debt for the class of 2015 is $35,000. Those are big numbers that are having a huge impact on the financial futures of every college student and recent graduate that is or will struggle to pay back student loans.

A New York based start-up, NextGenVest is leading the charge and tackling the student loan debt crisis head on. Kelly Peeler, founder of NextGenVest started the company to increase financial literacy among high school and college students. NextGenVest offers a free text messaging service that helps students navigate the tricky and confusing financial aid and student loan processes. Kelly is motivated by the belief that student loan debt is the #1 barrier holding students back from pursuing their passions and changing the world for the better.

Meet your money mentor

“Our service saves every student time and money with one of the largest financial decisions they will ever make” says Peeler. NextGenVest brands itself as the “money mentor for every student”. Students have access to a real live money mentor 24/7 to ask questions and get advice on applying for financial aid, looking for scholarships, interpreting financial aid award letters, writing financial aid appeals to more day-to-day activities like creating a monthly budget. Money mentors are current college students who have been through the financial aid process themselves. In addition to being able to ask questions, students also receive frequent text reminders about financial aid and scholarship deadlines to help them stay on track.

In the past year, NextGenVest has saved students $256,000 in tuition costs and facilitated access to $154 million in federal financial aid. “We encourage students into taking smaller actions over text to help improve their financial behavior patterns before they make what could be a big financial mistake” adds Peeler. The goal is to create more informed students who are able to make smart decisions about paying for college.

This service is free and Peeler intends to keep it that way. The other arm of the NextGenVest business offers a financial literacy course that is taught in high schools across the country. The course covers student loans, health insurance, budgeting, investing and other financial matters. Teachers can purchase access to the online educational platform for use in their classrooms from NextGenVest.

Texting over talking

textpicWhile parents are more comfortable with picking up a phone to talk, this service isn’t for them. The service is text-based because that has proven to be the preferred method of communication for most students. NextGenVest is about empowering students, giving them information, and teaching them how to advocate and take action for themselves. It is important that students start learning earlier the effects of what they are signing on for when they take out student loans.

For the many students whose parents are unable to assist in filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) NextGenVest fills the gap. Sometimes there is a language barrier, other times there is a financial literacy barrier or parents working too many hours to be greatly involved. As a first-generation student, I actually filled out my own FAFSA when I applied to college. Although supportive of my education, my parents didn’t really understand the form so they gave me their taxes and all of the information I asked for and I did it myself. For students in those situations, being able to send a free text message and get a response from someone who has been there before, for free, is invaluable.

Join the money movement

NextGenVest is currently accepting applications for fall interns. It is a student powered company, built for and powered by students. Internships with NextGenVest are not brand ambassador roles, they are true learning experiences designed to provide participants with the skills employers look for. This is not your coffee getting, paper copying, learn nothing type of deal. It was actually an intern who first proposed the idea of using text as the main platform and interns contributed greatly to the current website design.

This position pays $10 per hour and can be done remotely. You don’t have to be a math whiz or finance major to apply. “We accept all majors. The more important thing is that you’ve gone through the financial aid process because if you have, you know how much it sucks! We look for passionate students who care about our mission” says Peeler. If you are not motivated by this being a paid internship, you should know that on average interns make $15,000 more per year than their classmates who don’t do them. It is time for you to find your next internship opportunity.

NextGenVest looks for creative thinkers who will raise their hands if they see something that can be improved and want to learn everything from business, to marketing to communication strategy to data analysis. A company that believes in professional development, Peeler personally spends time with each intern through 1-on-1 advice sessions to talk about everything from student loans to career development.

Internships last for about two-months and are limited to small cohort’s so that everyone can gain leadership experience. The two-month time frame is also great because it provides the flexibility students want during the school year to work around finals, classes and projects. In that short time you can also make some money, develop your leadership skills and accomplish tangible tasks. Act fast and apply today, the deadline for the next cohort is July 30th.

If you need help in applying for this, or any other internship download my free internship manual toolkit so that you can stay on track.

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Internship Expert | Freelancer at Sharise Kent | The Internship Manual
Sharise Kent is an internship expert and freelance writer. She has spent over 20 years in college admissions and career development. As the former manager of a national internship program, she oversaw the placement of 400+ interns with some of the biggest media companies in the world. She holds an MS in Professional Writing and a BA in Public Relations.

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