Mos founder: We help college ‘students receive $3,500’ in tuition aid every year
Mos Founder Amira Yahyaoui joins Yahoo Finance Live to discuss how the Mos app helps students make financial decisions, navigate student loans, and more.
AKIKO FUJITA: Well, as young adults enter college, they are faced with unexpected payments for books or housing. But it's the long-term loans that are leaving the lasting impacts. The total owed sits about-- above $1.77 trillion. That has more than tripled over the past 15 years. Now with the pandemic pause on payments set to resume and no decision in sight for the Supreme Court's call on President Biden's forgiveness program, borrowers are somewhat left in the dark as we begin 2023.
For more on this, we now welcome in Amira Yahyaoui, the founder of Mos. This segment brought to you by Synchrony Bank Savings. Good to talk to you today. Let's sort of set the stage here for those who haven't necessarily been following this story. Because effectively, student payments or student loan payments for at least federal loans have been paused since March of 2020. We're talking about going on three years now. I mean, how significant a burden is it going to place on those if, in fact, that pause is lifted sometime later this year?
AMIRA YAHYAOUI: So first of all, thank you for having me. The student loan repayment and all these policies and all these help that is given by the Biden administration is helpful for the past. For people who are looking at the future, for the students who are going to college right now, there is no student loan pause or help or anything. They will need to figure out how to pay for college, and they will need to be figuring out also how to pay those loans in the future.
RACHELLE AKUFFO: So in creating your business and creating Mos, talk about some of the barriers that your app is trying to overcome that still exist right now.
AMIRA YAHYAOUI: Yes. So how we think about Mos is a solution for the future, not like a Band-Aid for the past. The problem is, education should be affordable and should be accessible to people. And the price of education today is absolutely impossible for most Americans and most college students. So instead of us trying to figure out a hack to loans, what Mos does, we help them get all the free money to go for college. And that by being today the biggest scholarship pool in America.
We have over $160 billion yearly of financial aid the student can get directly by using the app. The way we do it is every student who uses our platform is paired with a personal financial aid advisor who helps them navigate the complex process of paying for college and ensure that they get the lowest amount possible, potentially even waiving their full tuition.
AKIKO FUJITA: What's the cost? I mean, how do you-- how does your app make money?
AMIRA YAHYAOUI: Yes, so people-- students pay Mos $150 a year to get the full suite of services. That's how we make money.
RACHELLE AKUFFO: So then in terms of the gap that this fills, obviously, we still don't know what's going to happen with student loan forgiveness. If, say, President Biden does end up having this be successful, what does that mean for companies like yours?
AMIRA YAHYAOUI: Wait, excuse me? Can you repeat that again?
RACHELLE AKUFFO: Sure. If President Biden is successful with the student loan forgiveness, in terms of the need for companies like yours, does it make it more difficult, or does it make it easier for you to have your business grow?
AMIRA YAHYAOUI: What do you mean by being successful? Do you mean that President Biden would wipe $1.7 trillion of student debt? Does that mean that President Biden will give $1.7 trillion in the past and give it again $1.7 trillion in the future? Or does President Biden make all college education in America free? Because today, the only solution is to make all college education in America free. That's what will make us not exist.
RACHELLE AKUFFO: So basically you're saying, unless all student debt is wiped out, your company will be just fine. You'll be able to grow. I guess you're right.
AMIRA YAHYAOUI: Unfortunately, yes. I mean, we have-- we help students on average get $3,500 of money, free money every year. Most of our students get around $16,000, which usually it'd be a huge wipe down of loans that they take. Again, Mos doesn't help anyone with loans. We get them all the free money they're eligible for. And that money comes from the taxes that their parents paid for. Those are their rights.
RACHELLE AKUFFO: Well, you know that it does differ in different countries in terms of how education is viewed. Obviously, it's much more expensive over here. Amira Yahyaoui, thank you so much, the founder of Mos. Thank you for joining us this morning.
AMIRA YAHYAOUI: Thank you.