Did you know…
250,000 students in the UK alone are missing out on postsecondary education each year due to lack of funds.
What does this mean?
The increasing demand for loans and grants far exceeds the ever shrinking supply of funds and students are being forced to come up with some more inventive ways of paying for their studies. One of these solutions is CROWDFUNDING.
And that is where Student Funder comes in:
The company came about from the personal experience of the CEO, Juan Guerra, who crowdfunded his way into university, and offers an online crowdfunding platform where by running campaigns on the website, students can raise funds for their tuition or living costs in exchange for rewards or repayments.
Crowdfunding itself is not a new concept- there are many platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo where people are selling products and services and raising millions of dollars- but using applying the process to funding education is a recent development.
Allowing students to raise not just donations but also social loans is even more novel. Given that most of our students are pursuing Masters Courses, their employability after graduating is high, and this idea is proving popular. The money is refunded to the investors if the student fails to reach their target.
How StudentFunder works:
The most obvious sources of donations are friends and family, and students are encouraged to raise at least 30% of their total target from them, showing that they have the personal determination and perseverance to raise their funds and succeed then Student Funder will then help them to progress to the next stages.
We are in the process of forming partnerships with higher education institutions in the UK so that once a student has reached their 30% target partner universities showcase the students’ campaigns to alumni in an attempt to gain support. We also ask the institution to provide match-funding, which is where the university matches the amount of money that the student has raised.
Funds for tuition fees are paid directly to the institution and we are working hard to build these solid links with universities so as to increase support for and awareness of the financial difficulties faced by so many students today. To the student we give support and advice throughout the entire process, from providing information sheets on creating their initial campaign to approaching organisations and institutions we believe would take an interest in the student. As a crowdfunder using Student Funder, you not only gain important credibility but also create networks which will last beyond your campaign. We have students who have been offered jobs from people who have invested in them, like StudentFunder’s founder was himself.
Student Funder’s launch in November 2012 we have seen two students, Charles and Rehan, successfully reach total targets of over £10,000 and another, Guelord, raised over £6,000, allowing him to accept a place at Coventry University. Our current campaigners range from Cathy, who wants to study Dance and Movement Psychotherapy following her work with adults and children with severe disabilities, to Jenny, whose ambition is to study Cancer Therapeutics at Barts Cancer Institute. There are currently five students live on our site and another 20 or so in the pipeline, preparing their campaigns.
Do you want to be another one?!
We believe that your personal means should not be a barrier to education. Each successful student on StudentFunder is encouraged to pay donations forward into another student’s campaign as soon as they are able. They also act as mentors for other students currently going through the crowdfunding process. With this system the funding and the help are recycled and perpetuated amongst the people that need them most. Crowdfunding is definitely the way forward!
Check us out at www.studentfunder.com
by Sarah Musgrave and Sophie-Louise Hyde
Loughborough Students Rag raised over £1.4million pounds during 2011-12 whilst still ensuring that volunteer satisfaction was of key importance to the section.
As Student Fundraising Organisations or Rags (as they are most commonly known), increasingly raise millions of pounds for their chosen charities all across the country each year, it is not surprising that the organisation, their Rag Chair or Manager, and the students involved within the sections, are having to become more business-minded. However, it is with this moment of change in mind that one must ask the question that all Rag Chairs and Committee Members of university charity sections have come to fear: ‘What is more important – the amount of money you raise or the satisfaction of your volunteers?’ Of course the answer might be obvious to you, but in the world of fundraising where competition is fierce and to be best in the field, a keen eye on the finances of your organisation is needed, it can and has been, a tricky question for some.
University of Warwick student, James Beavis, has raised more than £26,000 for charity Crisis, which raises money for homeless people.
The 22-year-old Biomedical Science student from Devon spent eight nights sleeping rough in Lewisham, from December 22 to December 30.
Missing Christmas with his family and friends, he said his motivation was twofold: “I wanted to get people challenging the stigma and stereotype attached to homelessness. People don’t realise how difficult being homeless actually is. Every day is a struggle. “I only did it for eight nights and nine days, but people go through this struggle 365 days of the year.”
A generation of boys is turning its back on university in the wake of the rise in tuition fees to up to £9,000 a year, according to UK figures released today.
Final figures for this year’s university intake, published by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), show a 54,000 slump – 13 per cent down on the previous year (higher than earlier predictions).
A breakdown showed that the gender gap in entrants had reached an all-time high with the fall in the entry rate being four times higher for men than women.
by Cara Pleym
Intern at Bloom VC
As a young skint student myself, I can empathise with printing 4 pages per sheet because you can’t afford any more paper or ink, and giving up on the diet because let’s face it, it’s cheap and gives us an excuse to fuel study sessions with sugar. I also know what it’s like to pray for pay day and beg your mum for an extra tenner for ‘uni supplies’. There’s a lot that we have to give up and put to one side for our studies, but thanks to the revolution of crowdfunding, your ideas are no longer one of them!
The Scottish Government has announced new university places which will see 2000 additional places in total, including 1700 places for widening access and for college students moving to university (see note 1). The new places are worth £10m and follow NUS Scotland’s campaigning work to see fairer access to higher education in Scotland.
Increasing places for widening access and college students moving to university were key recommendations of NUS Scotland’s Unlocking Scotland’s Potential (note 2) report released this summer.