Inspire learners to take the next step

Increase access, boost FAFSA completion, and get more students on the path to college.

Mainstay helps state education organizations reach more students, streamline the financial aid process, and engage learners on a large scale — increasing educational access for all students. 


Using a proven, research-backed approach, Mainstay breaks-down barriers and simplifies the college application process. Our empathetic chatbots are proven to motivate students to complete important tasks and take the next step in their educational journey.

Along with our college access partners, we’ve helped more than 600K students navigate college applications, scholarships, selection decisions, and financial aid. 

Texas HE


Remove barriers to higher learning

Mainstay partners with you to simplify and streamline the college application process — ensuring equal opportunities for all students.

We work with leading researchers to identify psychological barriers to action, reduce friction at key barrier points, and tap into the psychology of decision-making to drive change at scale. 

This deep research and real-world experience led us to create a platform proven to remove barriers, improve access to higher education, and help students persist through the selection and application process.

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.

Reach students where they are

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.


Simplify the journey for rising freshman

The path to college can be complex. Mainstay makes it easier by offering comprehensive guidance every step of the way. With personalized 24/7 support, students have access to timely information about enrollment deadlines, housing options, test prep, and college essay resources.


But we don’t stop there. Mainstay also sends encouraging nudges and timely reminders to ensure they never miss a deadline — whether it’s completing financial aid forms, applying for scholarships, or exploring payment plan options. 


With Mainstay, you can help students navigate the college application process by giving them the support and resources they need to stay on track.


Drive action and engagement at scale

To give students the best shot at success, you need to understand their changing needs. With Mainstay, you gain access to valuable insights into day-to-day challenges that students encounter, enabling you to identify trends and recognize key opportunities for providing support.

This deep understanding allows you to anticipate learners’ needs and provide timely encouragement and guidance at scale. Mainstay’s unique combination of proactive support, responsive messaging, and real-time insights help you develop deeper connections, drive student success, and ensure a successful transition from high school to college.

By partnering with Mainstay, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board improved engagement with a student-centered experience:

  • 90% student engagement 
  • 97% of students say they find the bot helpful 
  • 86% said they learned something new and important about the college going process
  • 88% of students said they took action because of the bot’s reminders on key college access steps


Transform financial aid access

The door to higher education often hinges on financial aid. Mainstay ensures more students access and complete the FAFSA by streamlining the process and by providing step-by-step guidance and support. 

We use multiple touch points along the way: From an introduction to open the lines of communication to nudges around application tasks and deadlines, and surveys to better understand the challenges that students are facing.

In partnership with Mainstay, WSAC launched Otterbot to improve state-wide FAFSA completion. 

The results were impressive:


student engagement rate


of students found the bot helpful


Students who engaged with Otterbot had 66% FAFSA completion rate — nearly double the baseline


Build trust and boost engagement

Every student’s journey is unique. That’s why it’s so important to have non-judgmental conversations where students feel comfortable seeking guidance. 

Mainstay’s chatbots make it easy to engage students — both proactively and responsively — with messages proven to boost engagement and drive action. We provide valuable information and support at crucial moments, before questions become roadblocks. 

By consistently delivering reliable information, valuable insights, and relevant resources, our chatbots build trust with students — creating a relationship students can depend on throughout their academic journey.

Real students. Real impact.

“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.”

Powerful, proven engagement that drives real impact

When you want to support and engage your entire student population, you need a technology partner proven to deliver real results

See how Mainstay can help you overcome obstacles, bridge gaps, and unlock the full potential of every student.

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