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A Bloooming Partnership

  • College President Sheila Bair joins the staff of blooom while visiting the firm's new office in Leawood, Kansas.
    College President Sheila Bair joins the staff of blooom while visiting the firm's new office in Leawood, Kansas.
January 13, 2016

With its $200,000 commitment to Dam the Debt, blooom—named in 2015 as one of the most innovative companies in personal finance—is helping Washington College students graduate on more solid financial ground.

Washington College’s Dam the Debt initiative has a new partner—the innovative online investment management company called blooom. The Kansas-based start-up has committed $200,000 to the program, which is part of President Sheila Bair’s effort to address affordability in higher education.

 “It’s always a pleasure to come home to the Midwest, and this visit has been especially gratifying, thanks to the generous support from blooom,” Bair said during a visit to Leawood, Kansas, where she helped blooom open a new storefront. “Their strategy focuses on helping average people better manage retirement investments, so they truly understand the critical importance of developing a philosophy of savings as the basis for financial stability and strength. We’re grateful for their partnership with Washington College to help our students leave college with less debt, enabling them to invest in their financial futures sooner rather than later.”

Dam the Debt seeks to reduce the debt levels of seniors at Washington College through the generous support of partners and donors. Senior students who are eligible to graduate will see their total student debt reduced through a nontaxable adjustment of their financial aid award. Blooom’s $200,000 commitment will be broken into $50,000 a year for four years.

“We applaud Sheila Bair and Washington College for their national thought leadership and innovation in improving a student debt system that often makes it hard for our young people to save and prepare for their futures,” blooom CEO Chris Costello said. “At blooom, we are thrilled to contribute to such an innovative program, and one that is so closely aligned with our mission to help America’s middle class prepare for a dignified retirement, starting as early in life as possible. We thank you for the opportunity to contribute to this important cause.”

Washington College provides more than $23 million in grants and scholarships every year, with more than 90 percent of students receiving merit-based scholarships or need-based financial aid. Dam the Debt affirms the College’s strong commitment to mitigating student debt without compromising educational quality and support services.

Blooom joins BB&T, one of the nation’s largest financial services firms, and others in supporting Dam the Debt, an initiative that Bair launched immediately after her inauguration in September 2015 as Washington College’s 28th president.

Blooom is a low-cost, online platform that professionally manages its clients’ 401K retirement plans easily, understandably, and on a “do-it-for-you” basis. Its focus is on average consumers who have little help with or knowledge of investing. Created by financial advisors, blooom uses the analogy of a flower to communicate the health of the client’s 401K and after showing the client’s ideal allocation and diversification to maximize investing results, blooom actually makes those changes for the client. In 2015, Fast Company magazine named blooom one of the “Top Most Innovative Companies in Personal Finance.”


Last modified on Jan. 2nd, 2018 at 11:51am by Marcia Landskroener.