This Local Crowdfunding Site Helps Underprivileged Students Raise Their Own College Funds

A goal to make tertiary education more affordable for everyone!

Cover image via bestapply

Getting into college is a huge milestone. Your parents worry about it, you worry about it. However, financing your education could be one of your family’s biggest financial commitments.

Image via The Malay Mail

In fact, did you know Malaysia has been ranked 5th most expensive country to get a tertiary education in relation to household income?

A survey found that parents spend 55% of their salary to fund a child through university or college, making Malaysia the 5th most expensive country in the world to get a tertiary degree.

With that problem in mind, Skolafund, a local startup has came up with the idea of financing students through crowdfunding

Image via SkolaFund

Skolafund is web platform for students, especially the ones in need, to crowdfund their scholarships for higher education. Our mission is to make higher education affordable and accessible to those who qualify. We believe that no one should be deprived of quality education just because they cannot afford it.

The idea to set up Skolafund came when co-founder Syakir Hashim checked out his university’s unofficial Facebook page and stumbled upon many students sharing about their financial struggles

Image via Sphplugandplay

“What was surprising to us were the comments made on this kind of posts by other university students, alumni and staff – they were all asking for the students’ bank account numbers via personal message so that they could fund their studies,” he told Digital News Asia (DNA) via email.

“We saw this as an opportunity to bring simplicity and trust into the process of giving underprivileged students access to quality education,” he added.

The startup first went live in April 2015 and has gained much traction. In just 4 short months, Skolafund In just 4 shorts months, the startup has helped 6 students raised over RM25,000!

Image via Skolafund

Skolafund first went online in April 2015 with an Alpha Website. The Alpha lasted till August 2015. Throughout this four months, the site raised near RM 25,000 for 6 students, funded by 125 members of the community. Seeing the strong support and encouragement, Skolafund decided to enhance the website further, to make it more user-friendly, with an infrastructure that would be able to support more scholarship campaigns.

So, how does Skolafund work? It's pretty simple, really!

Image via Skolafund

Interested students would have to run a crowdfunding campaign to fund their educational endeavors. They are responsible for writing their own pitch and promoting their campaigns, thereby giving the “campaigner” full ownership and responsibility for their success. The campaign will run for a total of 30 days on the site with a target funding amount.

Aside from seeding on their Twitter and Facebook pages, Skolafund will also email and approach its user base to help seed and bring exposure to the campaign.

Sponsors could look through each campaign listed on the site for more details such as education history and target funding amount

Image via Skolafund

All campaigns will be verified by the student's university or college to assure sponsors. There will also be a countdown timer that indicates the days left for the campaign.

To sponsor, just click on the 'SPONSOR' button and a pop-up window will appear

Image via Skolafund

Currently, Skolafund only offers online banking and PayPal as payment methods. Sponsors could choose to sponsor RM20, RM50, RM100 or more.

What happens when a campaign succeds or fails?

If a campaign is successful, a cheque would be written to the student's university or college respectively. If a campaign fails, a full refund will be given to each sponsor of the campaign. However, Skolafund will try to get foundations, businesses and other organisations to help the student out in any way possible.

Setting up a campaign is also very simple. Done in 3 simple steps, a student would have to make sure that he/she spreads the word about the campaign to succeed.

Image via Skolafund

For more information on how to set up a campaign, check out the full details here.

Moving forward, Skolafund is coming out with more ways for people to sponsor students!

Image via Skolafund

A new feature which Skolafund recently added is the pilot "Create Scholarship", which allows any individual or organisation to start its own named scholarship on Skolafund. The Skolafund team are also collaborating with several corporations to create more opportunities for students in need.

To learn more about Skolafund, check out their official website here. Also, follow them on Facebook to stay up to date!

Another startup, 100% Project is also using the crowdfunding method to help teachers in need:

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