Crowdfunding website Kickstarter has been an incredible tool for entrepreneurs who need to quickly raise money for their creative projects. Now Toronto’s Scolaris.ca is offering a similar solution to students who need to raise money to cover tuition fees.
The Scolaris personal scholarship fundraising platform has just launched in beta, and there’s a good chance that it could grow to become an invaluable resource for all sorts of students from across Canada.
Setting a goal to minimize student debt, users can sign up to get their own personalized fundraising webpages and start building up their scholarship portfolios to attract donors. Each page gives students the opportunity to tell their story and provide details about their field of study, courses they’re enrolled in, expected year of graduation, past grades and more.
Tabs displayed at the top feature a section for a personal blog, information about supporters who’ve already donated, and separate areas to upload photos, videos and other documents. Students are encouraged to really go all out and create campaign videos, show off any great letters of reference, or take photos of any past awards and achievements.
Once a student has set up their page and built up a supporting academic portfolio, the idea is to start attracting donors through social networking. Ambitious students who are willing to work hard at raising money for their campaign should have no problem, and Scolaris pages can be linked to students’ Facebook accounts or other social media platforms to help them spread the word.
After the campaign period has ended, Scolaris will settle the funds on behalf of the student and helps students thank their supporters. The money is actually never sent to the campaigner, ensuring that users don’t abuse the platform and end up using the money for anything else other than for educational costs. Instead, Scolaris processes the funds and directly transfers the money to the student’s educational or financial institution.
All donor transactions are made through PayPal and Scolaris charges a fee of 8 percent to process donations, which covers the up to 5% in PayPal fees and the remainder goes toward Scolaris administrative fees. Donations may be accepted from international donors and are converted into Canadian dollars with the slight chance of being subject to a fee from the issuing bank or credit card company.
It a student’s campaign goal amount hasn’t been met by the deadline, any funds raised will still be transferred by Scolaris to the educational or financial institution on the student’s behalf. End dates may be adjusted before the deadline is reached if the user wishes to extend the campaign.
The beta site is currently open to Canadian users only, but Scolaris has future plans of expanding its scholarship platform to other countries like the United States, the UK and Australia.