Organization Name: Upswing

Focus Area: Adult Learners
Region: United States
Sector: For-Profit
Investment Year: 2021
Upswing is an integrated student services platform, designed particularly for working adult learners, student parents, and students of color. Upswing provides a variety of student support services that improve persistence and drive completion, including tutoring, advising, collaboration tools and career preparation, all of which are easy to access through Upswing’s platform and connection to the company’s 24/7 conversational virtual assistant, Ana.

Why We Invested

Of the 17 million college students, approximately 4 million are raising children. However, each year, many student parents are stopping out of college, for many reasons including limited access to the critical resources needed to persist. Existing platforms aimed at improving student success are often difficult to discover, confusing to navigate and are not integrated with the student’s everyday experience. Upswing’s integrated student services platform has the potential to understand and focus on post-traditional students, which include student parents. Colleges that partner with Upswing see a 12% increase in persistence, and students who engage with Upswing just 3x in a semester are 10% more likely to persist the next semester. To date, Upswing has partnered with 100+ colleges serving 1M+ students, preventing more than 38,000 dropouts.

We didn’t set out to create Upswing to target Black or brown students. We set out to target a certain need that resonated with me growing up. It just so happens that half of the students that are now using our system happen to be minorities. So I think that’s what happens when people from different perspectives are finally able to build products that reflect their backgrounds.
Melvin Hines, CEO and Co-Founder, Upswing