London, 3rd December 2019: Blackbullion, the edtech platform transforming financial education for students, has launched its new Funding Tool to streamline the application processes for hardship funds, loans and scholarships.

Each year, almost £30m is distributed in hardship funding alone in the UK, with the average application taking between two to four weeks to complete, frustrating student services staff and causing students unnecessary anxiety. Blackbullion’s Funding Tool has been developed to simplify this process, freeing up university staff to support students more proactively and improve the overall student experience. By reducing the time taken to complete the funding process – down to one to two days – Blackbullion is also helping improve retention, minimising uncertainty and removing barriers for students experiencing financial hardship.

With each university having its own funding process, the Funding Tool enables a seamless, coordinated user journey. This means that universities can manage multiple funds and track applications while speeding up the process. It also allows busy finance teams to encourage students to complete outstanding forms and provide the required evidence, preventing applications from stalling. Vitally, the platform can gather powerful analytics for university teams, to manage all applications, track progress and evidence, supporting measurement impact and efficacy around financial education and capability.

Vivi Friedgut, founder and CEO of Blackbullion comments,

“This is the next step in our plan to bring financial education into every touchpoint of a student’s financial journey. The Funding Tool has been developed closely with our university community, with each feature designed to solve a particular challenge. It’s a major step for our business as we continue to underpin financial solutions with education.”

 Through Blackbullion’s uniquely tailored fintech solution, the entire student application journey is streamlined – from fund application launch through to the university decision outcome on the disbursement. The Funding Tool has built-in just-in-time learning to the application process, equipping students with new money-ready skills and underpinning financial solutions with education at all stages.  As of January 2020, students will also be able to apply for scholarships and bursaries in addition to hardship funds.

 Paul Beavan, Assistant Manager (Exams and FSF), at the University of Suffolk adds,

“By streamlining applications to an easy to understand step-by-step process, the Blackbullion funding tool has improved the experience for our students. We are excited to be working with Blackbullion to develop and explore other possible uses of the funding tool in the future; in particular to administrate other funds the University provides and to further incorporate it into the workflow of the various members of staff involved in these processes.”

Blackbullion is currently available to over 700,000 students across the UK, Australia and New Zealand, with partner universities, including King’s College London, Liverpool John Moores, the University of Edinburgh, and the University of South Australia.