As roughly 3.9 million people in the US get ready to strut across a stage at a college or university graduation with a diploma in hand, they may not realize that they can't truly celebrate until they pay off their student loans.
Many grads will join over 44 million Americans with student debt, totaling $1.5 trillion, according to personal finance company SoFi. It’s no surprise, then, that graduating from debt can feel just as momentous as graduating from school.
SoFi made that moment of relief from student debt a grand occasion for one Midwestern woman, captured in a video. The company surprised Candice, a SoFi member who had refinanced her student debt, with an epic surprise “debt graduation” ceremony with friends, family, and some unconventional surprises planned by the company, together with production and entertainment studio Genpop.
The video shows Candice, who thought she was being flown to Malibu, CA, for a SoFi community member event, as she goes from being greeted by a marching band, seeing her friends and family who had been secretly flown in and donning a purple graduation cap and gown. Then we see her taking in a special dance squad by celebrity choreographer Richy Jackson, her own private graduation ceremony with Instagram-famous dog JiffPom, to finally taking off in a SoFi branded hot air balloon.
CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER: Joanne Bradford
V.P. OF BRAND MARKETING: Meg Ciarallo
EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Shahin Edalati
ASSOCIATE CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Kacey Coburn
SENIOR ART DIRECTOR: Charity Read
DIRECTOR, CONTENT MANAGEMENT AND SOCIAL MARKETING: Christine Zalocha
BRAND STRATEGIST: Jean-Michel Hoffman
DIRECTOR OF CREATIVE PRODUCTION: Stephanie Heinsohn
PRODUCER: Jonathan Derovan
PROJECT MANAGER: Quincey Firth
PRODUCTION: General Population
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Pierre Nobile
DIRECTOR: Ben Conrad
PRODUCER: Rick Brown
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Matt Bass
PRODUCTION DESIGNER: Kris Starr Davila
CHOREOGRAPHER: RICHARD JACKSON
CREATIVE CONSULTANTS: Nate Morley & Bill Yukich
EDITORIAL & VFX : General Population
LEAD EDITOR: Bill Yukich
ASSISTANT EDITORS: Rene Vargas-Madrigal, Sean Brown
VFX ARTIST: Travis Button
MUSIC : Mark Mallman
SOUND DESIGN: Keith Ruggiero
COLOR: Bill Yukich
BTS: Blaine Suque