Duckling

Helping students on a budget bridge financial gaps the smart way.

Duckling Logo

Duckling provides little loans to college students to cover the hidden costs of higher education. Using lending circles and simple loan terms through a mobile interface, Duckling provides a low-risk option to pay for costs that threaten to derail their education.




Why it matters:

While students spend years preparing for college, most do not understand the true costs of a higher education. In fact, tuition accounts for only 38% of an education, with other expenses coming from rent, bills, books and fees. Many students are forced to work extra hours, apply for high-interest credit cards, or use payday loans. Ultimately, this is unsustainable. Over half of all community college dropouts are due to financial stress.

The potential impact:

There are over 1 million students enrolled in New York, with half attending community college. Nationwide, that expands to over 20 million. Unfortunately, Only 60% will graduate with a 4 year degree within 6 years. That number falls to a 35% graduation rate after 5 years for community colleges. With many citing financial pressures as the core cause, the need for alternative funding has never been greater.

Who it helps:

  • Self-funded students who pay for some portion of their education through jobs, savings or personal loans
  • Middle and low-income students who did not have their full education funded through grants and scholarships
  • Non-citizen students who are ineligible for financial aid and most scholarships

The team behind Duckling:

Lindsey
Wagner

Design

With a background in art and a desire to solve problems, Lindsey loves working with others to design inspiring and valuable experiences. She previously co-founded the user experience department at Genuine Interactive. She also led the user experience design on 8 award-winning public media projects including Black Gold Boom, Curious City, Austin Music Map and I See Change.

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Lindsey </br> Wagner

Lindsey
Wagner

Design

Fred
Diego

Engineering

Fred enjoys being able to use his computer programming skills to address social problems that matter. He has a background in cognitive and computer science and he led development at an EdTech startup before coming to *blue ridge*. Other professional projects include building a mobile application to help organizations handle the intake of thousands of migrant children at the Texas border.

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Fred </br> Diego

Fred
Diego

Engineering

Alex
Hunsucker

Product

Alex has been building successful products at startups for the last 9 years. He was recently Director of Product Development for Jibe, a enterprise SaaS company that improves the job candidate experience. Previously, he led product and UX teams for consumer startups Eventful and GetGlue.

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Alex </br> Hunsucker

Alex
Hunsucker

Product