This Saturday we’ll be interviewing American Philanthropist, and Forbes 30 under 30, Abigail Seldin, founder of SwiftStudent. A former Rhodes Scholar and Doctoral Candidate at the University of Oxford, she’ll be giving us advice on the road less traveled and how she transitioned from being a student in higher education to working in business to better higher education.
Check out her bio below to learn more.
Abigail Seldin is the CEO & Co-Founder of the Seldin / Haring-Smith Foundation. SHSF funds and incubates public interest projects focused on four populations in American higher education: students struggling with basic needs, students with children, students who have dropped out of college, and people who have defaulted on their federal student loans.
SHSF’s grant portfolio includes the first research to explore racial equity challenges in discretionary federal student aid processes (with The Education Trust), documentation of completion efforts by defaulted non-completers (with ACCT), and designs for administrative options for addressing basic needs insecurity among college students through existing authority at the US Department of Education (with Student Defense).
At SHSF, Seldin has led the development of SwiftStudent, a free digital tool for college students seeking financial aid appeals. Built in partnership with 20 leading higher education organizations and powered by FormSwift, The Washington Post has highlighted SwiftStudent as “an equity leveler.” Seldin is the co-producer of the New College Majority Photo Series with Getty Images, a new images project highlighting the demographics of today’s college students.
A Rhodes Scholar and Forbes ’30 Under 30,’ Seldin previously co-founded College Abacus, an edtech company known as the “Kayak.com of college financial aid,” in 2012. Seldin served as the company’s CEO until she led the successful sale in 2014 to ECMC Group. She joined the acquirer as VP of Innovation & Product Development, where she started and led their DC-based innovation Lab, an 80% female technology and design center.
Seldin has been profiled in national media outlets including The New York Times, and her work on the Abacus products was highlighted in Secretary John King’s 2016 speech, Opportunity Across America. Seldin is a National Advisor to Ascend at the Aspen Institute, and serves on the boards of the Montgomery College Foundation and the Association of American Rhodes Scholars.