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Education for all : A chatbot to help finance studies

Education pour tous (odd 4) : un chatbot pour améliorer le financement des études
Published on
17 September 2019

Contrary to popular belief, 47% of GEM students had to take out a loan to finance their studies, and 11% have been turned down at least once! This is the conclusion of a survey jointly conducted by GEM and Unly (1600 respondents).

The results also highlight the need for more support for both students and their parents to better understand and negotiate a loan. The School now offers the service of the GEM Financial Advisor: a chatbot online loan and education consultancy.

What is the "GEM Financial Advisor"?

"Children from low-income families are three times fewer in higher-education institutions than children from higher income families. It is essential to fight against self-censorship, very often financial, to get into a Grande Ecole institution. Our aim is to use technology wisely to offer equal opportunity for all to embark on an ambitious career, whatever their social or financial status," explains Jérémy Ruet, Unly CEO and Co-founder.

One tool, three objectives

  • Support students and their parents to apprehend better the financing matters and explore what's on offer: loans, scholarships, work/study programs, student jobs. 60% of students state that they do not hold enough information to make a decision.
  • Offer an adapted financing solution based on the student's predicted salary upon graduation. The work/study programs available in the 2nd Year allow 68% of students to save up during their studies.
  • Explain the financial language and implications of each decision.

 

Survey Results 

 

  • Social environment: 25% of students on the Grande Ecole Program are grant holders. For 1 in 5, one of the parents has a baccalaureate level education or less.

• Financial situation: For financial reasons, 17% of surveyed students had to give up a primary need (health, food…) and 46% had to give up activities linked to their studies (study abroad programs, study trips, relevant but not financially viable internships).

Education for all is part of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (ODD 4). GEM has been dedicated to this equality for over 10 years now (Concours Passerelle, Breaking the Social Glass Ceiling, Handicap Diversity, GEM Refugee Grant Program, GEM's Data Asperger Program…). 
"The aim is that the classroom be more representative of society to facilitate access to our training and professional opportunities. Concretely, GEM is already offering fully funded or partially funded scholarships and other support thanks to corporate partners (Casino, Schneider, LCL, Caisse d’Epargne, Société Générale, Modis, SAP, Altran, etc.). Today, with Unly, we add the GEM Financial Advisor to our portfolio of assistance" explains Susan Nallet, GEM's Director of the Career Center.

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