You’ve probably come across a post or two by a student seeking financial aid and crowdfunding education abroad. Increasingly, several young professionals have been seeking funding on social media for their postgraduate studies.
With businesses going under during the pandemic and work-life grappling, students are left forsaken with no deep pockets to fund their education. “ As I was preparing for my boards, I already had a meticulous plan for my future education and how I would go about it. However due to the wrath of the pandemic that was faced by everyone, my father too, went out of his business and my hopes of acquiring quality education dwindled. But crowdfunding came to the rescue where benevolent strangers unified and raised the amount required for my education after I petitioned online” says Dhruv Shukla, an aspiring architect pursuing the course through crowdfunding at Amity, Lucknow.
Students with dreams of foreign education have also been lent financial aid through crowdfunding. Kunal Mehta, founder of Arthan Finance, a non-banking financial company remarks, “ Many students opting for crowdfunding hail from different backgrounds and do not have much to offer collaterals so as to take loans from the banks in whose absence, the interest rates shoot up.”
Is crowdfunding an unerring path to education?
Shukla states, “I’ve been fortunate enough to have the support of so many people who helped me to get enrolled and educate myself. Unfortunately, there are a large group of students who have not been as favoured as I was, in collecting the money online.” Several students are ignorant about a crowdfunding option; others are reticent in turn to strangers for help.
Radha Reddy, a career counselor at Lucknow University retorts, “ I’ve seen students being dejected due to the lack of finances to fund their education. I’ve also had students who chose crowdfunding but did not gain enough to pursue their education. It has also happened that students have had to change their courses due to insufficient monetary”.
How can educational institutions help?
“Colleges at their level can help promote crowdfunding through creating cells committed to gathering funds for the students only after verifying the authenticity of the pupil. The scholar wanting to follow a particular course can approach the administration department of the college to seek a resolve. And on the basis of the academic performance in school, the institution can make further decisions about it”, says Mehta.
Universities can take an active part in providing tuition to students while working on the grassroot levels. Due to the paltry amount of money and inability to take up loans, colleges can set up a separate department to deal with such students. The academy should be vigilant and make necessary perusal in making sure that the students benefiting out of this program do not turn out to be counterfeits and only the impecunious reap benefits from it.