Creating a digital experience to help students plan and pay for college without debt

Reaching new, younger members for a Fortune 500 financial services firm

of new user goals

Thrivent wanted to connect with teenagers and young adults in order to create more lifetime members of its financial products and services.


A digital platform to help students achieve the college dreams without debt.


Over 30,000 student users, surpassing Thrivent’s goals by 400%.

“We wouldn’t be achieving our goals without Highland. We worked with an incredibly high-caliber team.”

Jill Cole
Director of Membership

Enabling college students to avoid debt

In a crowded space of college loan providers dominated by institutions looking to make as much money as possible, Thrivent decided to take a counter-market position. They wanted to create a digital platform to help students better understand their financial options so that they could take out as few loans as possible.

Other factors often trump financial wisdom in college decisions

We researched the complex journey parents and high school students go on while making decisions about college, using Jobs to be Done research methods to understand the push and pull forces at work in various critical moments. By identifying knowledge gaps and the timing and context where guidance and nudges were most effective, we began to design a digital product that could address a real need.

Learning quickly, launching faster

Our practice of collecting ongoing user feedback and testing site features before fully building them out allowed the product team to learn quickly what worked, what didn’t, and adjust accordingly. The initial MVP was developed and launched in just three months.

30,000 students and counting

Thrivent Student Resources exceeded Thrivent’s initial user adoption goals by over 400%, with 30,000 students using the new product.

Let's Talk
Tell us about the opportunity you're pursuing, and we'll follow up in one business day. If you prefer, you can email
Would you like to receive digital innovation insights in your inbox? We will send you a few emails each month about our newest content, upcoming events, and new services.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.