How Paul Quinn College is reducing student debt with Lyft.

Paul Quinn College logo



Paul Quinn College students needed to get to internships in far corners of the Dallas metroplex. Many could not afford the expense of a car, however, and Dallas public transit was not always a realistic option.


Lyft partnered with the college, donating 1% of every ride to and from campus back to the work program. Every time they use Lyft, students get an affordable transportation option that also contributes to their education.


  • 300+ rides per week
  • Improved opportunities for students
  • Reduced student debt

In a philanthropic partnership, Lyft gives 1% of ride revenue back to the college.

Paul Quinn College is a private, historically black college in Dallas, Texas. In 2017, it was designated the first urban “work college” in the country. The designation from the U.S. Department of Education means full-time, residential students at Paul Quinn work on- and off-campus jobs as part of their graduation requirements.

college students on Paul Quinn College

The Challenge

Paul Quinn’s work program addresses several big challenges facing higher education. The on-the-job training that students receive helps reduce the cost of tuition. It also gives students relevant work experience that helps pay for school and prepares them to hit the ground running after graduation.

The new program created transportation challenges, however. Car ownership is often not an affordable option for students on a tight budget, and public transportation in Dallas isn’t known for being especially convenient. For its work program to succeed, the college had to solve the transportation problem.

“We are incredibly excited to combine our innovative higher education practices with Lyft’s groundbreaking leadership in the transportation space.”

Dr. Michael J. Sorrell

President, Paul Quinn College

The Opportunity

The goal of Paul Quinn’s work program is for each student to graduate with less than $10,000 in debt. When Lyft leaders heard about that goal and the transportation challenges it posed, they saw an opportunity to lend a helping hand.

The Solution

In July 2017, Lyft announced a philanthropic partnership with Paul Quinn College, in which Lyft donates 1% of all revenue from rides to and from the school back to the work program. Every time they use Lyft, students get an affordable transportation option that also contributes to their education.

The partnership promotes personal and professional development opportunities for students and community members, providing rides to corporate internships throughout the Dallas metroplex. In addition, Lyft offers transportation consultations for the college, encouraging rideshare and other entrepreneurial opportunities for community members in the surrounding area.


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Increased student opportunity

Lyft provides efficient, affordable, and reliable transportation for students to regions of the metroplex that they may not otherwise be able to get to. That way, they can accept the internship opportunities most relevant to their educational goals.

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Reduced student debt

The Lyft partnership contributes 1% of the proceeds of every ride directly to Paul Quinn’s work program, to help reduce tuition at the college and the resulting student debt. It also helps students avoid the expense of car ownership.

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A commitment to community success

Lyft’s transportation consultant works with Paul Quinn College leaders to encourage rideshare and other entrepreneurial opportunities for the community.

Looking Ahead

Today, Lyft provides more than 300 rides every week for students at Paul Quinn college. As the college ramps up its work program, it relies on Lyft to get students where they need to go.

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