Tasseled wants to help students get their lives and credits together – TechCrunch


When Vipul Patel lost half of his college credits during his transfer from Florida Institute of Technology to Boston University, he started looking for answers. Patel quickly stumbled upon equivalence tables, where universities track which courses from other institutions can be counted for credits during a transfer process. While seemingly harmless, the charts provided her with key data about where Boston University draws a line around accepting credits from other institutions – and where she contradicts herself.

He eventually appealed to BU, a school I also attended, and pointed out that the university accepts credits from universities that accept FIT courses. The argument worked, and the small but lucrative win inspired his other transfer friends to appeal for their once-lost credits.

The resulting buzz, and the fact that 39.4% of transfer students lose all of their credits upon transfer, gave Patel the confidence to turn his tool into a startup. Today, he and his co-founder, Nelson Huang, announced the launch of Tasseled, a free platform to help students create and customize their own college plans with credits in mind.

Tasseled, which opened a waitlist for its private beta today, is a member of product studio All Turtles, the incubator behind mmhmm and Carrot. Patel says the company has raised $ 750,000 in funding since its founding in 2018.

The service helps students identify the credits they need to graduate, and then helps them replace expensive college courses with cheaper, more accessible community college equivalents. Taking note of Patel’s experience, Tasseled is designed with transfer students in mind: it highlights ways to integrate a credited education from different locations, either an online course or a local community college class, into a four-year university plan.

Tasseled offers its services to students and high school students who are considering entering university. The team collected and centralized information on registration deadlines and tuition fees to help students turn their planning process into ‘a weekend’.

Image credits: with tassels

“We are already expecting a bunch of children [who] are 17 and 18 to make a financial decision worth several hundred thousand dollars, ”Patel said. “And, it’s a little crazy. They are just making life changing decisions without any information and our hope is that we can just shut this down. “

Tasseled’s bet on community colleges to fill the gap for students is further proof that financial inclusion is a major goal for the startup. On the one hand, removing the stigma around community colleges will help more students rely on their local schools (and less on loans) to earn their degrees. On the flip side, students moving on to community colleges can sometimes come from low-income backgrounds, so Tasseled helps them make sure their credited work doesn’t go unnoticed wherever they happen to be.

The startup has yet to find a business model, but could monetize using a referral fee for any community college that receives a student through its platform.

Tasseled has evolved many times, even in its short lifespan. It started out as an appeal tool, providing students with an easy way to get credit. Then, after students left campus in May, Tasseled moved on to a comprehensive solution to help colleges make student transfer decisions faster. Then COVID-19 dried up an already dehydrated sales cycle within higher education, so that didn’t work either. In the end, Tasseled landed on the return to a simple but massive mission: to help students save money.

Rightly so, Patel says Tasseled’s debut began on the Boston University campus. The startup worked with director Ziba Cranmer at BU Spark, an initiative for student entrepreneurship, to get a feel for how to build and talk to users. Cranmer introduced the co-founders to Phil Libin, a Boston University alumnus and co-founder of All Turtles, at a Spark event.

“In start-up mode, you have the impression that there are all the avenues to be taken, and both [of them] were the most influential people to make sure I stay clear about building products for students, ”he said.

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