Schmidt’s work in MDRC’s Postsecondary Education policy area, where she works on projects related to financial aid and increasing college enrollment. She currently provides technical assistance to help community colleges design and implement student-centered communication strategies aimed at increasing semester-to-semester enrollment through the OnPath project. She also provides technical assistance to several four-year HBCUs launching a novel financial aid initiative through the SFI project. She also conducts focus groups with college students and financial aid administrators to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of the 2020 CARES Act emergency financial aid roll out at colleges and universities through the CARES Act project, in collaboration with NASFAA.
Prior to joining MDRC, Schmidt worked as an education manager at a NYC charter school where she helped teachers and school leaders use data to drive change in the classroom, and helped parents navigate the process of obtaining special education services for their students. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Vassar College.