Alltuition: Helping Make College Accessible For The Masses

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Bringing greater transparency and ease to college financing for students and families. By Sue Khim (Founder & CEO, Alltuition)

Like millions of others, I required financial assistance as a college student. I went through the arduous and frustrating financial aid and student loan process.

I spent hours surfing the internet only to find that I needed to complete the same information repeatedly and get bombarded with risky financial offers and email spam. As an engineer, I looked at this broken process and thought, if there were software to help me through this, the process could be easy.

This experience brings me to where I am at today. I am the the co-founder and CEO of Alltuition, and our mission is to improve college access. Our consumer-focused online tools bring greater transparency and ease to college financing for students and families.

Alltuition's goal is to tap into the powerful ways that information and web services can improve the college financing process. We did it in 2010 with our award-winning Student Loan Search Engine, a service that helps families and students find the best rates for private student loans, and we did it again this year for financial aid.

Last month, Alltuition.com launched a new service to simplify the financial aid application process, instantly comparing aid packages from multiple universities and helping students maximize their chances for aid. Families who have used the service have described it as a “TurboTax for financial aid.”

Historically, students had no idea how much attending the college of their choice would cost until months after applications were tediously completed and processed by each individual school. Alltuition's online financial aid service helps families and students easily anticipate their financial aid award from different colleges based on their income.

The same service also allows families to check whether they’re missing out on federal, state, and merit aid for which they may be eligible, and easily prepare and file financial aid forms. At the same time, we offer a free simple FAFSA filing with step-by-step guidance and easy to understand resources.

The newly launched financial aid service was given top honors as “Best Overall” company in the 2.0 track at the annual 2012 San Francisco Launch Festival and has already been embraced by thousands of families who were able to submit their requests well in advance of the June 1 deadline.

Knowledge of the real costs of college shouldn’t be a mystery. The decision to invest in a college education is among the most important financial decisions of a person’s life, second only to buying a home. While research has shown that streamlining the complicated financial aid process improves college access, at least 1.7 million students who would have been eligible for financial aid failed to file the FAFSA.

The team at Alltuition is passionate about college affordability and accessibility. We have made it our work, day and night, to make a positive social impact while building a great service.

Editor's note: Got a question for our guest blogger? Leave a message in the comments below. About the guest blogger: Sue Khim is the founder and CEO of Alltuition, a tech startup that empowers students and their families to navigate the financial aid process. She developed the concept for Alltuiton when she was a junior at the University of Chicago with $50,000 of undergraduate debt. With her technical co-founders Sam Solomon and Silas Hundt, together they have built out a powerful platform of college finance tools. Follow her on Twitter at @alltuition.