First Aid Beauty’s founder, Lilli Gordon, is no stranger to student debt.
She used debt, contributions from her parents and scholarships to put herself through college years ago. Back then, it was about $4,500 a year. But now that she’s seen the booming cost of higher education for Gen Z, and having sold her business to Procter & Gamble for a reported $250 million in 2018, Gordon is ready to pay it forward.
“My parents had three kids in college at one time…they couldn’t afford to pay for my full ride,” Gordon told WWD. “[Debt] didn’t have the crippling effect it has today….College tuition has risen much faster than wages have risen.”
First Aid Beauty plans to dedicate $1 million toward helping recent grads — those who finished school between 2018 and 2020 — pay off their student loans. The project is called “FAB Aid.”
Ten percent of sales from two limited-edition Fab Aid products — the FAB Aid Ultra Repair Cream, and the FAB Skin 101 Kit — will be added to the company’s $1 million commitment. The products will be sold at Sephora and the brand’s web site.
“Education is very important to me,” Gordon said. “You start to look and you read article after article about this growing debt crisis, and the fact that it’s an election year, a lot of the candidates have brought this issue to the floor.
“We started to dig deeper and learn more about it and just how crippling it is,” Gordon continued. “Somebody graduates from college with all this debt, and maybe has an ambition to go to graduate school, but is overwhelmed at the mere thought of getting him or herself into even more debt.”
Those who have graduated from an accredited four-year undergraduate university between January 2018 and August 2020 are able to apply for the program. To apply, graduates can go to Fabaid.com and submit a video about their student loan story. The FAB Aid board, which includes Gordon; actress and singer Laura Marano; influencer Nabela Noor; financial influencer Aja Dang; finance expert and author Bola Sokunbi, and Barry Mills, former president of Bowdoin College, will decide the winners, who will have up to $100,000 of their debt paid off.
Winners will be announced in November.
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