BridgeEdU Challenge: Emergency Financing Eligibility and Supports via Student Persistence Scoring

$10,000 USD

Challenge overview

In a world where postsecondary education is essential for being competitive in the job market, less than 40% of adults reach this level of attainment. The statistics are particularly troubling for first in family learners, under-resourced, and lower-income students, military veterans, and adult learners returning to college. For some, life simply gets in the way. For many, a small amount of money will keep students from achieving their dream of college completion. Can we bridge the gap for these individuals while giving universities a better understanding of the persistence probability of the students who are requesting supports? BridgeEdU believes that data-driven emergency financing is an important key and they seek a method to define a new metric to determine which students could benefit the most.

This is an Ideation Challenge with a guaranteed award for at least one submitted solution.

The obstacles to college completion are many and varied, ranging from insufficient preparation to lack of support. For students with family and/or work obligations, the financial hurdle is often the hardest to overcome. Surprisingly, it is not the price of tuition that causes students to drop out. Rather it is a smaller amount, usually less than $1,000, for an unexpected expense (e.g. illness, car repairs, books) that sets them off course. In order to ensure that these individuals stay in college, there must be some mechanism for them to apply for and receive emergency funds in a quick fashion, and the means for universities to better understand and evaluate the requests. BridgeEdU is committed to identifying these students using an algorithm to calculate their Student Persistence Score, which will be used to detail the probability that the gap financing can truly help the student persist if the financing challenge is alleviated.

This is an Ideation Challenge, which has the following unique features:

  • There is a guaranteed award.  The award(s) will be paid to the best submission(s) as solely determined by the Seeker. The total payout will be $10,000, with at least one award being no smaller than $5,000 and no award being smaller than $2,000.
  • The Solvers are not required to transfer exclusive intellectual property rights to the Seeker.  Rather, by submitting a proposal, the Solver grants to the Seeker a royalty-free, perpetual, and non-exclusive license to use any information included in this proposal, including for promotional purposes.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on October 7, 2016. 

Late submissions will not be considered.

After the Challenge deadline, the Seeker will complete the review process and make a decision with regards to the Winning Solution(s). All Solvers that submit a proposal will be notified on the status of their submissions; however, no detailed evaluation of individual submissions will be provided.


BridgeEdU solves persistent challenges facing the vast majority of college students, so that successful completion can be real for all.  Its pilot platform is an innovative educational experience that reinvents the First Year of College. It is a personalized, semester or year that provides a new on-ramp to success in higher education and career exploration. 

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