Alumnus wins grant for Public Service Loan Forgiveness Resource Center

James Macdonald

NYU Wagner graduate James Macdonald, founder of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Resource Center, is one of 50 student entrepreneurs picked to receive a $5,000 grant to focus for eight weeks on advancing their startup under the Techstars Summer Startup Fellowship.

Macdonald (MPA 2018) won the opportunity to validate his strategies and advance his public service venture through coaching sessions with LaunchPad Campus Directors as well as mentoring from Blackstone Campus Ambassadors and Techstars Entrepreneurs and Advisors.

He and other Fellows will also have the chance to hear first-hand from entrepreneurs like Allbirds Co-Founder Tim Brown, Techstars CEO and Co-Founder David Brown, CareMessage Co-Founder Cecilia Corral, and SparkCharge Co-Founder (and LaunchPad Alum) Josh Aviv during the LaunchPad Lessons Learned speaker series.

The LaunchPad Summer Startup was developed in response to a number of current challenges facing college-aged entrepreneurs. According to recent research by Glassdoor, internship opportunities dropped 52% this summer. These opportunities are crucial to informing future young entrepreneurs about their own startup ideas and helping land traditional full-time positions after graduation.

Reduced professional entry-level job opportunities and strains on family finances have also increased pressure for students to ‘earn a paycheck’, and potentially postpone or forgo taking a risk on a startup idea.


“For the PSLF Resource Center, this Fellowship is a steppingstone towards our mission to provide students a toolkit to achieve public service loan forgiveness,” said Macdonald, founder of the PSLF Resource Center.

“As we move forward into this new phase of our startup,” he went on, “this Fellowship will provide an avenue to achieve our goals for a digital platform to upload PSLF related information, curriculum development, improved resources, development of grant applications for future funding, and pitch-deck development related to the digital platform.”