“The class of 2018 of IIM-Ahmedabad will pay Rs 19.5 lakh for the two-year course. This is 400% higher than what the Bschool charged in 2007. If the fees of the management course continues to rise by an average 20% every year, it will cost roughly Rs 95 lakh in 2025.” reads a Times of India’s article and I am startled and disturbed. As an aspirant of management courses in India, I am both worried and curious. Worried because I will soon have to make arrangements for the enormous tution fees of some or the other B-school. And curious because I wonder who can afford to pay such gigantic fees in one go. Given the fact that India is a developing economy and not many are affluent enough to afford these sky high educational expenses, especially when we have a culture where parents pay for education from their savings and investments, unlike in western countries. There is also huge gap between the number of available  scholarships and fellowships for higher education in India and the number of applicants.

The situation with student loans too is not in favourable. With increasing NPA’s many banks are unwilling to sanction students loans as it is one of the major component of Non Performing Assets of Banks, which is pushing them towards severe balance sheet crises.

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However, the situation is not entirely gloomy. When I started searching for alternatives to pay this high fees, I came across one wonderful option – Education crowdfunding!

Education crowdfunding is a way to raise funds for your various needs as a student from a large pool of people over the internet. All you have to do is start a crowdfunding campaign on one of crowdfunding websites functioning in India. Tell your story as to why you need to crowdfund for your education expenses, share your academic background, which educational stream and course you are aiming for etc. Share your fundraiser on your social media handles. Ask your friends and family to share too, and contribute to the fundraiser. It doesn’t even have to be large amounts. When it comes to crowdfunding, little drops do make an ocean.

The great thing about education crowdfunding is that you can raise funds for various reasons apart from just paying for your tuition fees. For example, you can raise funds for research. Most of the time research grants are not sufficient to commission good quality research may it be pure science or social science research study. You can raise funds to help others. There are many well settled individuals who would like to sponsor education of a deserving candidates, and all of them can come together, pool funds through crowdfunding and can sponsor the education of a few students.

You can also crowdfund for preparation for various competitions which helps build your resume. If you are planning to study abroad, have been able to grab a scholarship, but still certain expenditures like travelling to your new country of residence can’t be funded, you can crowdfund for causes like this for which you will never be able to get loan from a mainstream financial institution.

I was absolutely delighted to find out that education crowdfunding is basically a solution for all problems related educational expenditures. I even found out a success story of a student from Kerala who effectively raised funds to participate in an international moot court competition. One thing I have been assured of is education crowdfunding works, and it works really well!

If you too are travelling with me in the same boat, consider crowdfunding!

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