nudging to college completion

Persistence Plus increases community college student retention by 10 percentage points.

Persistence Plus increases graduation rates for students most at risk by 6 percentage points.

Persistence Plus increases persistence for online students by 11 percentage points.

What we do

Persistence Plus brings the idea of the nudge to higher education to increase retention and equity. Grounded in behavioral science, our nudges help students achieve academic goals, reframe obstacles, seek help from campus resources, and navigate the path to graduation.

With Persistence Plus, students receive personalized, interactive nudges over text message to support them on the path to success. Nudges are personalized to the student, the college context, and the real-time responses that the student shares about their goals, challenges and college experience. The end result is that Persistence Plus delivers the right nudge to the right student at the right time.

  • First-year support

    Help students navigate the rocky transition to college.

  • Online lifeline

    Build a sense of community for online learners.

  • Focus on equity

    Boost students of color, first-generation college-goers, and former foster youth toward their college dreams.

  • Nudging to careers

    Help propel students to and through career technical programs and good jobs.

Our Platform

Persistence Plus provides an award-winning student retention platform that leverages behavioral science and an intelligent software system to support college students to a credential or degree. Talk to us about your student success priorities.

First Year

Ease the transition for new and first-generation students.


Support students to return to college and thrive.


Keep students on the path to STEM degrees and careers.

Online Students

Help online learners feel connected to college.

Our peer-reviewed study shows how P+ nudges increased reenrollment and racial equity among students in healthcare pathways.

Our Partners

Our partners include community colleges, four-year colleges, online institutions, and nonprofit organizations. Here's a sample of them.

What Students Say

We love what we do, but we think our students describe Persistence Plus best.

Read our peer-reviewed paper in AERA Open on how P+ nudges resulted in a 10 percentage point gain in STEM persistence.


The Persistence Plus team combines expertise in higher education, behavioral science, and technology and shares a passion for increasing equity and economic mobility.

Jill Frankfort

Co-founder & President
Jill helps colleges transform how they support, engage and motivate students to completion. Previously a director at Jobs for the Future, Jill holds degrees in education from Brown University and Wake Forest University.

Serena Fahnbulleh Crain

Director of Partner Success
Serena works with partner colleges to implement the Persistence Plus model. In her prior work in college admissions, she helped community college students transfer and earn STEM degrees. A first-gen college goer, she holds a M.S.Ed from University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education.

Greg Kirkpatrick

Senior Developer
Greg leads the development of a scalable, robust and intelligent technology platform that can support millions of students to college completion. He has been developing ed tech and gaming startups for 20 years.

Cecilia Le

Cecilia works with colleges, nonprofits and foundations to scale student success. She has worked on the national and community level to increase college completion at Jobs for the Future, Match Education and Youth Uprising.

Ross O’Hara, Ph.D.

Chief Learning Officer
Ross develops nudging interventions to foster the mindsets and behaviors that lead to college success. He earned his Ph.D. in social psychology from Dartmouth College and has served as a researcher, professor, and undergraduate mentor.

Betsy Sparrow, Ph.D.

Behavioral Researcher
Betsy’s work in data analytics informs our approach to student success. A first-gen college goer and former professor at Columbia University, she earned her Ph.D. in social psychology from Harvard University.

Shahrukh Tarapore

Technologist in Residence
Shahrukh shapes the Persistence Plus technology platform to be both highly personalized and highly scalable. He has over 15 years of experience designing and building useful and delightful software products.

Get in touch

Caring, connection, and belonging are more important to student success than ever. Talk to us about your student engagement needs.