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Edu-Harmony: Creating affordable relationships between you and higher education. (Update 2 12/07/2015)

eduHarmony is a non-profit that makes college affordable by matching students to colleges and scholarships.

Photo of Sushma Ravindran

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Who is the target audience for your idea and how does it reimagine the cost of college?

Students looking for an affordable college experience.

eduHarmony is a non-profit that makes college affordable to students by matching them to colleges and scholarships that fit their career goals.

Let's take a look at the journey map of our first student, Edster.

Edster is in his senior year of high school and wants to be an engineer. He comes from a family of working class parents. Edster doesn't have the finances to pay for college, nor does he have access to information regarding higher education.

Edster meets eduHarmony

Image title

Edster learns about eduHarmony and decides to apply.

Edster checks the criteria and speaks to an advisor about the process. He is guided through the application process based on a holistic assessment developed by eduHarmony and qualifies for an interview.

At the interview, one of our advisors assesses his goals and aspirations to build a profile. Within a timeframe, eduHarmony matches Edster to engineering programs and scholarship that best suit his profile and goals.

Edster, with the help of eduHarmony, applies to 5 colleges.  He gets into University of Southern California and his college experience is made more affordable with company scholarships to support his cost of attendance.

eduHarmony matches Edster with a mentor from the company, who has a similar life experiences and a successful career in the field. When Edster graduates, he becomes a mentor to another student entering the field, building our learning ecosystem.


We've updated our idea to incorporate sponsorships from a company. Each semester intake will be sponsored by a company who will be a key partner in our program. Our scholarship funds will be provided by the sponsored company.

Below are the journey maps of the student and the company that connect with eduHarmony.

Student's Journey Map
Company's Journey Map

We've also done a mock up interview of a student with eduHarmony and some questions he had on our company. You can watch the video here.

Business Model Canvas

eduHarmony's Business Model Canvas

  • Our social entrepreneurship will start collecting funds for the first round of scholarships + operating expenses through an online crowdfunding campaign.
  • After achieving our financial goal, 80% of the funds will go to scholarship funds and 20% will be for operating expenses.
  • We match the students with scholarships after suggesting best college fit and assessing his/her financial needs.
  • The students are matched with a mentor, an industry leader that will guide him/her through the college and recruiting experience.
  • The mentor will offer career advice and will check in with the student regularly. The relationship commitment goes until the student graduates a 4-year college and becomes a mentor to new candidates.
  • The first round of scholarships will be sponsored by the crowdfunded campaign. However, during the first year the entrepreneurs of Edu- Harmony are going to establish relationships with organizations that will sponsor the next cycle of scholarship receivers.
  • The sponsoring companies are responsible for providing the financing to our program and in-house talent as mentors to our outstanding candidates. As a return, our students will be evangelists to their brand spreading the love of the harmonic relationship at career events & school events.
  • The organization gets good P.R and tax credits (corporate social responsibility).
  • The mentors will be giving back to the community and helping students to achieve their full potential.
  • The students will graduate from 4-year colleges and then contribute to eduHarmony as mentors.

The program will create a virtuous cycle where organizations, students and professionals work together in order to create a more affordable college experience.

What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

We are going to pitch our idea to students and incorporate feedback into our idea.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

Any feedback regarding the idea will be helpful in molding the next version.

This idea emerged from

  • A group brainstorm
  • A student collaboration

Are you interested in the Path to Pitching track we've developed for this challenge?

  • No


Join the conversation:

Photo of Bettina Fliegel

Hi Sushma.  Nice idea and great conversation in the comments.  At first when I read your proposal I thought your team was planning to match students to existing scholarships.  Apparently there are scholarships available from many sources, of different amounts, that students do not know about.  From reading the post again and the comments it seems that your plan is to get funding from sponsors for the scholarships.  Is that correct?  Have you also thought about directing students to outside scholarships as a way to increase opportunities for more students?  

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