DCPS Persists and Beam

Providing access to emergency funding and retention grants to over 700 DCPS graduates with support from DC Public Education Fund


September 23, 2022

The Project

DCPS Persists provides college-bound DC Public Schools graduates with a support network and resources needed to help them succeed in college. Through a recent partnership with DC Public Ed Fund and Beam, formerly Edquity, DC Persists launched emergency persistence grants for college students experiencing vulnerable situations. DC Persists awarded $300 in emergency funding to all applicants, helping them avoid college dropouts thanks to the supplemental support. Funding for this program was provided by DC Public Ed Fund, and Beam's platform facilitated the application process and disbursement of funds.

Why Beam

Beam offers scalable, fast, evidence-based emergency aid distribution. The platform's infrastructure offers an efficient, streamlined application process and provided fast payment to students via direct deposit and prepaid cards.

  • Application takes less than 7 mins to complete
  • Software provides fast decisioning and processing
  • Offers immediate access to claim funds once approved

Program Outcomes

  1. Application Time: 4 Minutes
    On average, it took DCPS Persists applicants 4 minutes to complete the application. Beam processed 734 applications between August 2020 - May 2022.
  2. Decisioning Time: Within 19 Hours
    After the application was submitted, applicants received a funding decision within 19 hours.
  3. Claimed Funds: Within 5 Hours
    Students claimed funds within 5 hours of being approved. $213,300 in persistence grants were awarded between August 2020 - May 2022.

Program Highlights

Through partnering with Beam, DCPS Presists achieved their goals:

  • preventing college attrition stemming from small financial emergencies
  • providing students with a streamlined process for collecting funds
  • better understanding the funding needs of their students through data collected from Beam's robust reporting tool

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