I founded Dolr because I want to help people.
My parents taught me that the contents of my mind were the only things that no one could ever take away from me. They also taught me that any knowledge not shared was knowledge wasted. My whole life I've treasured that message and it has been the source of my belief that learning is the most important thing in life. Everything we do is based on things we know and things we need to learn.
Education, learning, and knowledge
Being curious and social are universal to all of us humans. I think this is at the core of how we have developed as a society. We learn by exploring things we're curious about then transfer those learnings to others in society so we can continue to survive and grow. As we have grown we have come up with all kinds of ways to learn and to share that knowledge.
We learn by doing, by thinking, by imagining, by example, and in so many other ways. We transfer our knowledge in the same way. Families teach their children. Communities teach their members. We have formed organizations whose entire reason for existence is to grow and transfer specialized knowledge. We've built tools like computers and the internet to make our communities larger and to create broader access to information and knowledge so we can keep growing our collective knowledge and keep being curious in new ways.
We've had so much success, but we've also failed a lot
Not too long ago access to institutions for learning was restricted only to the wealthiest. In the USA, those barriers were crushed by providing federal loans to people so they too could have access to these institutions. Federally guaranteed student loans opened doors and gave new opportunities to so many by lowering financial barriers to education. More people were able to realize their right to financial freedom.
The idea was amazing: if people could get into a school then they could pay for it by taking a loan from the government. It was easy enough to pay off after graduating because college graduates made enough money to support themselves, their families, and pay off those loans. A lot has changed since then.
In the last 30 years the cost of a college education has increased by over 180% while early career wages have only gone up 3%. The average graduate carries around $30,000 in student loans. Engineers, lawyers, and doctors typically carry $100,000, $200,000, and $300,000 in loans. Mind blowing.
The argument is that people who go to school for longer and have more loans typically make more money. Sure, they often do. But they still struggle to make their huge loan payments. Across the board, people with student debt are financially stressed.
There is an asymmetry between the cost of education and how society rewards it
There are many reasons for this. In some ways society stifled curiosity by propagating the belief that going to college was the only way to succeed. We know that's not true. College is not for everyone and that is okay. Going to college is one of the ways we can aim for a better life.
At the same time some "educational" institutions changed their outlook and became more concerned with making money than delivering on their promise to educate - driving demand by creating incentives and making promises that may not have been true. Mix in the low risk for lenders who know their loans are guaranteed by the government and here we are with $1.7 Trillion in collective student debt spread across more than 45 million Americans. This is such a crisis that 73% of millenials have paused life as a result of student loan debt.
This is especially worrying because millenials now make up the largest portion of the US labor force.
Goodbye Student Debt.
We founded Dolr because we want to help people. My cofounders and I are on a mission to Lower Financial Barriers to Education because everyone has the right to an education and everyone has the right to financial freedom. Choosing to go to college as a path to financial freedom should not result in financial ruin.
At Dolr we're not in the business of owning debt. We're in the business of paying debt down. We're starting by helping people accelerate to $0 student debt by making smarter payments and by empowering their employers to provide incentives for and contributions towards student loan debt. This is just the beginning.
Join us and let's say Goodbye Student Debt!
If you'd like to learn more connect with me on LinkedIn or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Naveed Iqbal | CEO @ Dolr