OAKDALE, Minn., Aug. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of its longstanding efforts to help students succeed, ECMC acquired College Abacus (www.collegeabacus.org), an innovative web-based tool that assists prospective college students as they make the all-important decision of which school to attend. Named one of the "Best New Money Ideas" for 2014 by CNNMoney, College Abacus is a one-stop search site that allows students to compare the net price of nearly 4,000 colleges. The net price is the cost of school after grants and scholarships are subtracted from the total cost of education. This tool is provided free to all consumers.
ECMC Group CEO Dave Hawn said, "With the acquisition of College Abacus, ECMC seeks to help students find a school that is the right fit for their career aspirations and financial circumstances; College Abacus amplifies ECMC's commitment to helping students avoid the unsustainable debt faced by too many student loan borrowers today. We hope students across the country will utilize this important price comparison tool and we invite all schools to participate with us in making this information available in an easy-to-compare form."
College Abacus co-founder, Abigail Seldin, noted, "We're thrilled to move the College Abacus technology into the nonprofit space. This move to ECMC will broaden the reach of the tool and help more students understand the financial implications of their college choice." A Rhodes Scholar, Seldin joined ECMC on July 1 as the vice president of innovation and product management.
While the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 requires all Title IV schools to provide a net price calculator to prospective students, College Abacus is the only tool that allows students to compare results of multiple schools at one time. The Chronicle of Higher Education previously described College Abacus as giving net price calculators "the Kayak treatment." Just as Kayak.com has created the one-stop search experience for travel, College Abacus has done the same for higher education pricing. College Abacus gathers real-time estimates from net price calculators of the schools selected by the user and displays a comparison of net college prices.
ECMC will be adding new features to College Abacus and integrating more schools. A launch of the enhanced tool is planned for September of this year.
Educational Credit Management Corporation (ECMC) is a nonprofit company that provides services in support of higher education finance as a guarantor in the Federal Family Education Loan Program. ECMC works to lower student loan default rates; sponsors college access and success initiatives, and financial literacy programs; and provides resources to support student loan borrowers to successfully repay their loans. ECMC is headquartered in Oakdale, Minn.
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