Case Study: College Aid Pro

Personalizing the College Aid Pro Experience

CAP logo

Chris Leja, Software Engineer

Mar. 18, 2022

College Aid Pro combines award-winning technology with real time guidance from industry experts to show every student how to maximize financial aid and graduate with little to no debt. Future Foundry first worked with them to create a resource for these experts to easily update scholarship information, simplifying the process of sharing information. After seeing what our team delivered, they asked us to design and build a new student-facing resource called MyCAP.

The Challenge

Since MyCAP is student-facing, we knew we needed to create an intuitive, customizable hub for students to find scholarship opportunities they qualify for. We would need to leverage CAP’s existing infrastructure to ensure up to date scholarship data, and it was also crucial to avoid disruption to their existing advisor-facing services during our development. We were also asked to take on a leadership role and guide their internal team to facilitate database optimizations and efficient resource retrieval.

Our Strategy

Our core strategy for MyCAP was to emphasize an intuitive user experience above all, while prioritizing high performance and a scalable foundation. To that end, some of the pillars of our strategy included:

  • Leveraging Next.js for its optimizations around asset retrieval and server-side rendering to ensure a high-performing frontend for logged-in user experience

  • Implementing mobile-first designs that prioritized visual clarity and seamless navigation

  • Using Laravel for our backend framework to simplify integrating with their existing backend, removing impediments to communication with their team

  • Advising their team on high-level architecture questions, efficient scaling, implementing maintainable code standards, and optimization without interruption

  • Prioritizing customization, allowing users to find school-specific data and financing opportunities relevant to them

The Result

We delivered an intuitive, customizable tool to make the path to financing college transparent for users. We built a new backend to wrap around the existing database structure, allowing us greater flexibility in our data consumption without any disruption to the advisor-facing service.

On the frontend, we emphasized quick response times and clarity of content. Our optimized backend and lightweight search infrastructure allowed users to access and filter a great deal of school and scholarship data based on relevance to them. Under our leadership, the joint FF and CAP team implemented new code standards for their existing backend to ensure maintainability, optimizations, and a scalable foundation for growth.

Analytics data shows that MyCAP has made big strides with mobile traffic as well, with 30% of users using these tools on phones. MyCAP has already simplified the process of financing college for thousands of students, and will continue to serve students for years to come.

“It is always a pleasure working with Future Foundry. Their expertise, leadership, and efficiency continues to impress–the pride they take in their work is obvious, and they’re always willing to go the extra mile. They always respond quickly to feedback, and their diligent communication ensured that we were always informed. I’m grateful for their work, and would recommend Future Foundry to anyone.”

Bill Rabbitt, Chief Product Officer, College Aid Pro