JPMorgan Chase acquires Frank university financial aid platform

JPMorgan Chase acquires Frank university financial aid platform

JPMorgan Chase acquired the Frank University Planning Platform to deepen relationships with students and their parents, CNBC has learned exclusively.

Frank is an online portal with tools to help students apply for and negotiate financial aid, register for online courses, and find scholarships. It has served more than 5 million students at 6,000 institutions since its launch by Charlie Javis in 2017.

JPMorgan, the largest US bank in terms of assets, has been acquiring start-ups at a steady pace since CEO Jamie Dimon announced last year that it would be “much more aggressive” in seeking acquisitions. The company has purchased a series of fintech players to build their capacity to build sustainable investment, robotics advisory and tax-advantaged portfolios.

But in some ways, the deal looks like another recent acquisition by JPMorgan, that of restaurant reviews department The Infatuation. With the two deals, the company dives deeper into a workspace in hopes of gaining loyalty with a specific group.

“We really aspire to have a lasting and connected relationship with all of our customers, and Charlie and his team have built an incredible relationship with the student body,” Jennifer Roberts, head of Chase Consumer Banking, said in an interview. “Although we are working with students today and apparently have branches near over 300 universities, it really does give us access to a much larger pool of students.”

Jane Roberts, CEO of Consumer Banking at JPMorgan Chase

Source: JPMorgan Chase

A quarter of Chase’s customers are children aged 6 to 17 who could potentially benefit from using Frank, and the bank expects users to sign up with Chase for their first checking account, has said Roberts. .

Frank will retain his branding and remain under the leadership of Javis, who has joined JPMorgan as Head of Student Solutions on the bank’s digital products team. The companies declined to say how much JPMorgan pays for Frank, who has raised more than $ 20 million from investors since 2017.

According to a spokesperson for JPMorgan, Frank users tend to come from low- and middle-income families, and many are women and first-time students. Tools and materials are free; Javis said Frank charges schools an annual fee.

While many companies in the financial aid arena focus on providing private student loans and refinancing – potentially shocking users with heavy debt loads – Javis wanted Frank to help Americans apply for federal aid.

“Target thought the exact opposite of all student lenders and refinancers and lead generators in this market,” Javis said. “It was about thinking about financial well-being similar to health care, from a preventive perspective. We are committed to doing this in terms of financial education and meeting students and parents where they are.

JPMorgan ended private student loans in 2013 after the government changed the market and, according to a bank spokeswoman, has no plans to return.

Despite negotiating the deal for weeks, Javis said she only met her new colleagues in person until Monday, she said.

“Today is my first day employed by someone else,” she said. “It’s a great place and I couldn’t find a better, bigger platform to work on. “

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