Make college possible for more students

Improve college access, increase FAFSA completion, and connect students to essential financial aid resources.

Transform the way you support students on their journey to higher education with chatbots proven to make a real impact

Mainstay provides personalized guidance and support that improves access, boosts FAFSA completion rates, and gives students the resources they need to achieve postsecondary education. 

Together we can empower students to overcome barriers and unlock the social and economic mobility that education provides.

College advising corps

Break down barriers to student success

Student success is built on meaningful relationships that consider students’ mindset, challenges, and needs. 

Mainstay work closely with top researchers to understand what motivates people to take action on their goals. We’ve combined this research with years of real-world student interactions to create a platform proven to reduce friction at key barrier points and improve access to higher education for students from all backgrounds. 

We make it easy to connect learners with the resources and opportunities they need to pursue their academic dreams.

3X more likely to apply for FAFSA

In an experiment with Irrational Labs, we discovered that students who received texts from Mainstay that said applying for FAFSA is part of their enrollment process were 3X more likely to apply.

Engage students with text messages

Today’s students only read 20% of the emails they receive, yet 97% of them read every text. Students also respond to text messages 4X more frequently than email.


Light the path to higher education

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with the college selection process — especially for students with limited access to high school counselors.

Mainstay’s chatbots streamline the process by providing step-by-step guidance and support throughout the application process, whether it’s applying for financial aid, exploring scholarship options, or getting help with test prep. 

And our proactive approach means that we give students valuable information before their questions become hurdles.


Messaging that works at scale

Financial aid is essential for many students pursuing higher education. Mainstay’s platform streamlines the process — ensuring more students can secure the assistance they need.

We reach out to students at key stages — from an introduction to open the lines of communication to encouraging nudges about completing tasks and meeting deadlines. 

Our user-friendly approach ensures more students understand their options and complete the financial aid process. Find out how Mainstay’s messages have increased FAFSA submissions by up to 40% for our partners.

The impact of Mainstay’s messages:


of students who received messages from our  chatbot completed their FAFSA


completion from students who did not receive messages.

In research conducted with Common App, we found key differences in the way first-gen students feel about admissions and enrollment compared to non-first-gen peers:

  • First-generation students were 10 points more likely to say they do not have the help they need. 
  • First-generation students were 3.4 points more likely to indicate they need expert advice.


A proven approach to supporting first-gen students

Many first-generation students need guidance navigating the application process, but schools often have limited staff and resources to assist them.

To bridge this gap, Mainstay joined forces with College Advising Corps and Common App in 2020 to reach half a million low-income and first-generation students. This partnership resulted in over 23 million messages sent and an impressive 65% engagement rate with the chatbot.

Mainstay gathers feedback from students and educational institutions to stay up-to-date with the evolving needs and real-time challenges faced by first-gen students. Our platform adapts alongside the students they support, ensuring our conversations are always relevant and impactful.


Connections that spark action

Mainstay’s chatbots are more than just virtual assistants — they become trusted friends for students. By consistently delivering reliable information, valuable insights, and relevant resources, our chatbots build trust and foster a sense of belonging that improves resiliency and drives action. 

Whether students have simple questions or need assistance navigating complex processes, our chatbots are there to offer immediate and accurate answers. These empathetic conversations create an environment where students feel comfortable seeking guidance.

Real students. Real impact.

What students say about the impact of our messages:

“As the texts were progressing, it made me more mindful of my progress.”
A woman on a laptop at a coffee shop
“The guidance counselors at my school were focused on other students. I relied on the bot and my teachers.”
“The bot helped me craft my essay and win my school’s staff scholarship.”

Success starts here

Mainstay has partnered with organizations like yours to help more than 600,000 students on their path to college.

Find out how we can help you scale your impact and support more students on their path to higher.

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