Published December 15, 2023

Finance startup Arbol aims to help college students stay on budget – and in school

As reported by The Buffalo News and Buffalo Inno, finance startup Arbol completed its pre-seed funding round in November, which raised over $850,000 from several investors, including UB's Buffalo Innovation Seed Fund. 

Arbol's app aims to help underfunded college students navigate financial challenges. According to U.S. News & World Report, as many as one in three college freshman don't make it back for sophomore year, most often due to financial reasons. 

In turn, Arbol could help schools retain students to complete degrees. Participating schools receive a data dashboard that shows how students are faring financially so they can proactively step in to help. 

The company, a graduate of UB's Cultivator program, is currently piloting its financial tracking app on six college campuses with over 1,000 students. 

In one pilot case, Arbol flagged a Villa Maria College student in financial straits, which led to a counseling session with the company's founders, who were once first-generation college students themselves struggling with expenses. 

The two learned the student was considering dropping out and helped him identify a path forward. In a biweekly call with Villa, they learned the student who almost left has a 4.0 average.

Read the full story here.