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Status: Proposed
Registry Provider: Neustar
Type: Generic
Category: Commerce
Priority #: 1493 - Rezolve Group, Inc.

More information: NTLDStatsLogo.png

.financialaid is a proposed TLD in ICANN's New gTLD Program. The applicant is Rezolve Group, Inc.[1]

The application was issued a GAC Early Warning from the representative of Australia and GAC Chair, Heather Dryden. The warning system is noted as a strong recommendation on behalf of national governments to the ICANN Board that a given TLD application should be denied as it stands. Applicants are encouraged to work with objecting GAC members.[2]

The warning states that the applicant is "seeking exclusive access to a common generic string .. that relates to a broad market sector," which Ms. Dryden notes could have unintended consequences and a negative impact on competition.[3]

Application Details

The following is excerpted from the applicant's response to question #18:

"The mission of the .FINANCIALAID gTLD (“gTLD”, “.FINANCIALAID”, “the domain” and “this domain”) is to become the recognized web space for accurate, up-to-date and complete information on the student financial aid process. Rezolve Group, Inc. (“Rezolve”, “we”, “Rezolve Group” and “the company”) has the capabilities and experience in this industry to be the operator of this new registry and provide students and families with the necessary information on planning and paying for college. This gTLD will be a closed registry that will allow Rezolve Group to accomplish two main purposes.

1) Create an innovative web space that provides accurate, consistent and up-to-date information surrounding the student financial aid process. Under the umbrella of this domain, Rezolve Group could integrate, organize and streamline the financial aid process for students and institutions.

2) Enhance current relationships with college and university partners to create a seamless and intuitive web experience for students and families to research and possibly apply for financial aid at that school.

Purpose 1 – In the United States the National Center for Education Statistics predicts that almost 20 million US students will enroll in college in 2012. This number is forecasted to increase approximately 2% each year; forecasting almost 22.5 million students enrolling in college in 2019. In the European Union (EU-27) the European Commission in their Eurostat report indicated that in 2009 there were 25 million students enrolled in upper and post-secondary, non-tertiary education as well as an additional 21 million enrolled in tertiary education. There is a growing population of students attending post-secondary institutions. For the majority of these students and their families, financial aid is an integral part of making a good college decision and successfully earning a degree. Financial aid is a very broad term which in the United States alone encompasses 10 separate and unique federal aid programs, 636 individual state aid programs, 11 military financial aid programs and almost 100,000 unique institutional aid programs at more than 7300 colleges and universities. These programs do not take into account a number of other unique ways that students may pay for a college education including hundreds of private student loan options, institutional payment plans and thousands of potential private scholarships. Each of these programs and alternative sources of aid has unique deadlines and rules to follow. Accurately completing the various applications for this vast array of programs is an important part of maximizing an individual student’s eligibility for aid. Needless to say this process can be confusing and stressful to many of the students and families who are preparing for college - many of which are going through this process for the first time.

The decision of which college to attend and how to finance that education is typically one of the two largest expenses that a person will make in their lifetime. With the exception of the purchase of a home, financing a college education can be the largest financial decision that many students and their families will ever make.

Keeping in mind the magnitude of this decision and lifelong negative consequences of making the wrong choice, Rezolve Group believes that it is important for students and families to have access to this wealth of financial aid information in a simple and intuitive way. Rezolve Group plans to use the .FINANCIALAID gTLD as the new web space to compile, organize and make available accurate information on the thousands of different financial aid programs and other sources of aid. There is also the possibility of creating area specific sites like military.FINANCIALAID or nursing.FINANCIALAID that can create a more focused presentation of information and further streamline a family’s financial aid research. Rezolve’s business model will be to provide a substantial amount of this information free of charge while also offering specific services for a fee for those families that would like individualized products, services or assistance to help with the financial aid process.

Purpose 2 –

Rezolve Group currently has relationships with more than 700 college and university campuses in all 50 US states for which we provide an array of student financial aid products and services. The main product that these clients use is a Net Price Calculator - a financial aid estimation tool that calculates an individual student’s true net cost of attendance at that university, after taking into account the individual’s unique economic circumstances, academic abilities and personal characteristics. This calculation takes into account tuition and fees as well as the other costs associated with a post-secondary education less estimated eligible financial aid. Our capabilities are built on complex financial aid eligibility algorithms that required more than 5 years of compiling the necessary information and building the internal systems infrastructure to provide extremely accurate estimates for aid to a large population of prospective and current college students. . These algorithms take into consideration the student’s personal circumstances in order to determine eligibility for individual financial aid programs and then create a package of programs to fund their education based on federal, state, and institutional regulations.

Rezolve Group has additional products and services to deepen relationships with these clients. This gTLD will be used to facilitate further integration with these university partners. Each college or university partner that desires to add additional products and services from the suite of Rezolve Group would also receive their own 〈school〉.FINANCIALAID second level domain (SLD) to support all their financial aid information at that school. A college or university may use their second level domain in many ways. The general idea would be that all the services that are provided by Rezolve Group as well as all services that are provided by the university should be coordinated and presented in a unified and easily accessible manner using the 〈school〉.FINANCIALAID SLD. The school could create and maintain pages that give an overview of financial aid including detailed information about specific school deadlines, policies, procedures or guidelines. These school maintained pages would flow seamlessly with the third party products and services provided to the school by Rezolve Group, Inc. Net price calculators provided by Rezolve Group, Inc. at each school might be accessed through npc.〈school〉.FINANCIALAID while additional services such as online application forms could be referenced similarly.

Under such a content display model, there would be tremendous benefit to both Internet users and colleges. Internet users would benefit from an intuitive process of understanding and contrasting financial aid across the different institutions as they search for information. Colleges and universities would benefit from access to a 〈school〉.FINANCIALAID SLD and a more standardized content organization and intuitive experience for current and prospective students. Internet users would benefit by having a single space that has developed intrinsic trust to research the complexities of the student aid process that are relevant to their unique situation. They would no longer have to navigate multiple college websites trying to discover the financial aid information only to then have to try to compare information presented in different ways."[4]