Fishers-based Strada Education to sell Student Connections

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Fishers-based Strada Education Network, a not-for-profit that aims to strengthen pathways between education and employment, plans to sell off affiliate Student Connections in an agreement that will result in 16 layoffs in Indianapolis.

Strada is working with debt management company Loan Science to finalize terms of an agreement for Loan Science to acquire Student Connections. Transfer of ownership is expected to be completed by mid-June.

Austin, Texas-based Loan Science plans to continue operating from Student Connections’ current location at 6405 Castleway Court in Indianapolis, and 42 of the company’s 58 employees are expected to retain their jobs. The other 16 employees have been offered a severance package, said Julie Goodman, Strada vice president of marketing and communications.

Strada formed Student Connections in 2013 as an extension of its work as a student loan guarantor to help tackle issues of college affordability, Strada president and CEO William Hansen said in written comments.

Strada, previously known as USA Funds, one of the nation’s largest student loan guarantors, transferred ownership of its two guarantor affiliates in 2016 and rebranded in 2017 as a not-for-profit holding company.

“We exited our role as a guarantor in 2016, and our social impact priorities have evolved from a historical focus on college access to a new organizational strategy centered on completion with a purpose,” he said. “We are supporting our Student Connections colleagues through this transition and look forward to their continued contributions to student and institutional success."

Loan Science President Curtis Wright said the company looks forward to establishing operations in Indianapolis. 

“Student Connections has a talented team and fantastic facility. We look forward to building on the positive impact they provide to students and schools through our partnership together.”

The news comes days after Strada announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire labor market analytics leader Economic Modeling LLC, or Emsi.

Strada is expected to acquire Moscow, Idaho-based Emsi from Chicago-based Career Builder in a deal that should close in the second quarter. Terms were not disclosed.

Emsi has about 135 employees, mostly in Idaho. Strada isn't planning to open a local Emsi office, Goodman said.

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