His innovation: Under Thompson’s leadership over the past year and a half, Tuition.io — the student debt assistance platform — has added over 100 new employers to its platform, helping thousands of employees pay down millions in student debt. Tuition.io works with a variety of employers, from Fortune 500 companies such as Live Nation, Estee Lauder Companies and Staples, to public entities such as the city of Memphis, the first city in the country to offer a student loan debt reduction program for its employees.
Why it matters: The market for student loan help is huge: There are around 44 million people in the U.S. with outstanding student loans. In 2015, graduates who took out student loans finished with an average of $34,000 in debt. Employers are increasingly adding student loan repayment benefits as a way to not only attract and retain talent, but also to help ease their financial stress. Although only 4% of employers currently offer student loan repayment benefits, according to the Society of Human Resource Management, that number is poised to grow quickly. Companies like Tuition.io make it easy for employers to administer the benefits.