With rising inflation and the falling value of currency, higher education, especially studying abroad, has fallen out of reach for many. However, financial difficulties notwithstanding, tech savvy students of today have taken to the web, social media specifically, to source funds to support their education from people across the world.
The technique, popularly known as crowdsourcing and crowdfunding, has successfully been used to gather finance and resources for various types of projects, from movies to social causes, and is now coming to the aid of enterprising students. It typically involves setting up an online fund that allows people to contribute willing sums of money towards a project. Since the amount is subjective to the donor, large number of people end up sourcing small amounts to eventually achieve the stipulated goal. Sometimes, people offer resources in kind than in actual money.
The concept is extremely convenient to students who use the platform to exhibit their academic profile, while simultaneously sponsoring their education. It provides the candidate with endorsements from hundreds of contributors who acknowledge the capabilities of the student.
Students can even have the option to return the funds at a later point in time, or provide some form of compensation for a minimum payment of a certain amount. Although, in most cases the contributions are out of goodwill and do not require repayments.
While there are many online start-ups that are facilitating such initiatives, individuals too have set up singular independent project to monetise their online network. Take for instance, Shubhashish who started Project Hope to fund his academic aspirations to pursue his postgraduate education in the UK.
Shubhashish is asking for a small sum of Rs 800 from his followers and friends on social media. The amount is credited towards his $36000 education fund. Reflecting a micro-lending model, he even promises to return the money with an 8% interest. Shubhashish is one of the many students who have used social media to their advantage.