NerdScholar one of 21 winners of the College Knowledge Challenge

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San Francisco, CA— NerdScholar was selected as one of the 21 winning proposals in the College Knowledge Challenge, a competitive grant initiative funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. NerdScholar, a division of the personal finance website NerdWallet, will use this grant to develop the FAFSA Community App, a Facebook-enabled application to improve the accessibility of federal financial aid to low income and first generation college students. The College Knowledge Challenge is a partnership between the Gates Foundation, College Summit, and the King Center Charter School to award a total of $2.5 million for Facebook applications that make the college-going process more transparent, collaborative, and easy to navigate.

NerdScholar’s FAFSA Community App, first of its kind, will offer an online community for parents and students to obtain support and information on the Federal Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA).  NerdScholar will leverage the social features of Facebook to build a peer-support network where students and parents can help each other and ask questions–from what to do if one parent lacks a social security number to dealing with required tax documents.

“It is an honor to receive this generous grant, and we look forward to working with the College Knowledge Challenge and Gates Foundation to improve students’ accessibility to financial aid. Too many families are leaving Federal funds on the table, and the FAFSA Community App will help students and parents navigate the process and achieve their higher education goals,” said Joseph Audette, Vice President of Education at NerdScholar.

The FAFSA Community app will officially launch later this year and marks a milestone effort to improve higher education accessibility and completion for low income and first generation students.

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NerdScholar, a service of NerdWallet, is committed to empowering students and parents to make the best decisions about their higher education. From choosing the best school, to finding the best ways to pay for college, NerdScholar serves any student looking to improve their financial literacy.