The state of Iowa wants to help a startup company in the Quad Cities. On Friday, the board of the Iowa Economic Development Authority approved a 25,000 dollar loan for TuitionFit, based in Davenport.
Co-founder and CEO Mark Salisbury says TuitionFit allows people anonymously to post online the college financial aid they've been offered, so other students and their families can compare the true cost of going to various colleges.
"We all have the data that we'd all like to see, but we all have just one little piece of that data. And the way that we solve the bigger problem is that we all share our little piece to the central resource."
Salisbury says colleges will announce what he calls the "sticker price," which is usually very high. But potential students have a difficult time figuring out what they'll actually end up paying, so they don't know what they'll be able to afford.
Colleges can also subscribe to TuitionFit and use it to boost their enrollment.
"Colleges who are in that position can subscribe to the platform and pay a small fee. Then as a result can offer students they see on the platform who haven't applied to their school, and say 'you know, what if you had applied to our school we could have offered you a better price than the ones you're facing - would you like to talk ?'"
In his words, "when we all collaborate, then we all benefit."
Salisbury says TuitionFit launched in January and since then hundreds of students from 40 states have shared financial aid data for more than 100 colleges.