SAN FRANCISCO, May 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Mos, the startup that helps students get more college aid, today is announcing their Series A funding and launching a comprehensive guide for students navigating financial aid, tuition costs, and housing constraints during the COVID-19 crisis.
Student debt in the US has skyrocketed to a staggering $1.5 trillion, and every year, more than a million students don't apply for financial aid even though they'd qualify for it. Amira Yahyaoui, previously an influential activist in the Arab Spring in Tunisia, founded Mos to interrupt the cycle of skyrocketing student debt and unused government financial aid. Mos' platform checks over 30,000 eligibility criteria for students to access and aggregate all $135B in potential government aid into one single application.
"Students shouldn't have to spend their weekends filling out forms to get grants and scholarships. It's incredibly stressful and all too easy to mess up," says Yahyaoui. "Unfortunately, the easiest way to pay for college today is contracting a big private student loan that can alter the course of a student's life. I believe every student should get every dollar possible in free, no-strings-attached funding before they take on debt."
To help fund their efforts to make financial aid and resources more accessible for students, Mos has raised $13 million in Series A financing in a round led by Sequoia Capital with participation from Stephen Curry, Zoom founder Eric Yuan, Emerson Collective and Lux Capital, among others. Prior investor Uber co-founder Garrett Camp's startup studio Expa also participated in the round.
"Mos opens new doors to students who want to go to college without taking on huge amounts of debt," said Jess Lee, partner at Sequoia. "As COVID-19 impacts the financial futures of American students, there has never been a greater need for them to be empowered and educated around their financial options. We are proud to be partnering with Amira and her team as they help students access financial aid."
Student Rights During COVID-19: The Ultimate Guide
In addition to providing a first-of-its kind application for students seeking financial aid, Mos is directly responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has upended the lives of 20 million college students and 3.7 million high school seniors in the US.
The company is launching The Ultimate Guide to COVID-19 for students to address the dearth of easily accessible, consolidated information and resources for students in the time of COVID-19. The free guide provides instructions, templates, and more to help students who have been forced to put their futures on hold, are being charged tuition for no class, evicted from housing with no options, and told to wait indefinitely for admissions and financial aid decisions.
Mos created the guide after hearing from students about the anxiety, hardship, and profound uncertainty the crisis has caused. The guide is updated daily, combines knowledge from experts across financial aid and education. Instead of simply providing advice like most articles, it offers a set of email and letter templates that students can use immediately to make effective housing petitions, information requests, payment deferments, and special circumstances appeals.
"The lack of information out there shouldn't cost young people their futures. It doesn't have to be this way," says Yahyaoui. "Students have more rights than they know about to advocate for themselves, seek tuition reimbursements and loan forgiveness, oppose evictions, and get answers to their questions."
From the early days of the crisis, Stephen Curry played an impactful role in raising swift awareness and education around COVID-19. "This guide is exactly what students need right now— clarity on the ways COVID-19 impacts their education, and what resources are available to them to help navigate the often complex process of financial aid," said the six-time NBA All-Star.
Millions of students are already eligible for professional judgment appeals related to COVID-19. Mos started by offering the guide to its network of 200,000 students, but wanted to do more to empower the current and future college students of America, so the company is making the guide available to the public and any student, educator or parent looking for resources.
Mos's breakthrough technology helps more students get more of the government's $135B in annual college financial aid with a single application. Founder Amira Yahyaoui is a well known human rights activist who played a pivotal role during Arab Spring in Tunisia. She created Mos for one mission: Using technology to help citizens access their fundamental rights.
She decided to tackle access to college first because she doesn't believe that securing one's future shouldn't come at the cost of years of hobbling debt. Today, Mos's platform checks over 30,000 eligibility criteria for students who fill out their application, and matches them with a personal financial aid advisor to ensure they've gotten as much aid as possible. Already, it's been used by 200,000 students and their families. Mos, founded in 2017 is backed by Sequoia Capital and Arrive, a Roc Nation Company.