Nick Ducoff '99
An Entrepreneur’s Mission to Improve College Financial Decisions
The rising cost of a college education and student debt have become big discussion topics in recent years. Many people worry about how much they should be saving for a future college tuition and how they will pay off student loans. Depending on who you ask, you’ll get widely varying answers.
Nick Ducoff ’99 is a nationally recognized expert who has done a deep dive on this issue. He is a former college administrator and the Co-founder and CEO of Edmit, the South by Southwest (SXSW) EDU award-winning company helping families make smarter college financial decisions. He believes we should “educate young people about risk and reward, and provide them with education and tools to make informed decisions about their education and future employment. That way, young people will have the opportunity for a great education with less debt and better financial outcomes. Like many other issues facing our society, education and prevention is the most effective path to ending the crisis for future generations.”
Nick previously served as Vice President for New Ventures at Northeastern University in Boston where he came up with the idea for Edmit. His role at Northeastern was to incubate new business ideas, diversify revenue streams and advance a new model of higher education. While at Northeastern, Nick launched the first university data science bootcamp which has been recognized as a “disruptive innovation” by the Clayton Christensen Institute and as an example of innovation in higher education by the U.S. Department of Education.
In speaking with families considering Northeastern, Nick learned that every family – regardless of means – had questions about the cost of college and its return on investment (ROI). The reasons for this he found were pretty simple: colleges only publish their “sticker price” but everyone pays something different, and few colleges talk about the specific career outcomes of their graduates, instead merely indicating the percentage that get a job leaving families wondering if their students will be baristas or financial analysts.
He started Edmit in 2017 to bring more transparency to these questions about what he calls “the dollars and cents college”. The Trump administration recently invited him to the White House to discuss how data sets can be combined into new tools that lead to smarter decisions about which workforce skills to acquire, among other topics. Nick was also invited to the White House by the Obama administration to attend a symposium on innovation in higher education. Nick attributes his success in large part to reading and writing he developed in Kate Lambert’s English class, with classmates such as Mark Schmulen ’99 with whom he has stayed in close touch. Nick’s articles have appeared on CNBC, Barron’s and Fortune, and he was recently quoted in The Wall Street Journal.
Nick moved to Boston in 2012 after living in Austin for nearly a decade. He graduated from The University of Texas School of Law with Honors in 2006 and joined Andrews Kurth’s Austin office working with startups and VC funds where he represented clients in financings raising over $250 million. Nick got his first exposure to “big law” as an intern for Jeff Love, father of Benton Love ’99, at what was then Locke Liddell.
Nick holds an undergraduate business degree from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University, where he met his wife Elizabeth, also an entrepreneur. The family has two children, ages 1 and 4, and lives in Newton, MA. Nick enjoys collecting antiquarian books on history and philosophy and his prized possession is an early 17th century Descartes.
To learn more about Edmit and Nick’s mission, visit https://www.edmit.me/.