If you are struggling to raise the cash required to fund your studies, then you may want to consider crowdfunding your degree.
Not just the preserve of fledgeling apps and cool new gadgets, crowdfunding is increasingly used for funding worthy causes, including degrees.
Are you thinking about turning to crowdfunding to help you pay for the further education that you want? Today, CashLady provides five ways to help raise the amount that you need, courtesy of the kindness of strangers.
Should you crowdfund your degree?
If you are on social media, then you will no doubt have come across crowdfunding campaigns for charities and local causes.
Typically run through websites like Kickstarter, crowdfunding pages feature a story of why you should invest your cash, along with a financial target and, in some cases, what you will get in return.
While crowdfunding campaigns can prove extremely popular and raise lots of funds, you need to think carefully about whether the public will be compelled to fund your particular cause – in this case, your degree.
Successful crowdfunding campaigns are ones that people can get behind, feel passionate about, and believe will influence positive change.
If you expect donors to part with their hard-earned cash on your behalf, then you have to provide a compelling reason why they should crowdfund you.
When not to crowdfund
If you are studying for a regular undergraduate degree and are simply seeking to avoid student finance then it is unlikely that you will receive much backing, beyond your close family.
Much of the student population is financially in the same boat as you and do not expect to be crowdfunded.
If you could raise the money by taking out a student loan and working a part-time job, then it is probably best to go down that route and not crowdfund your degree for now.
When to crowdfund
If you have an interesting story to tell and could provide something of value to your funders and the wider world, then crowdfunding might be for you
The most successful crowdfunding campaigns for degrees are ones that fly in the face of adversity and allow students to study when they would have been priced out of it otherwise.
International students who cannot afford the extremely high costs of studying in the UK and do not receive much support from their home countries can do well out of crowdfunding.
Similarly, postgraduate students who cannot afford another round of finance and will be researching a topic that could benefit the greater good are also great candidates for a campaign.
Five ways to crowdfund your degree
If you think that crowdfunding is for you then there are five ways to give your campaign the best chance of success.
1. Tell a great story
Why should people want to fund you?
The story on your crowdfunding page obviously has to be true, but you should write it in a compelling way that gets to the heart of how their funding could change your life – and possibly other people’s.
2. Blog about your funding journey
Your crowdfunding story doesn’t have to stay relegated to your crowdfunding page.
Start a blog and let people really get to know you, while charting your journey to studying for the degree of your dreams.
Remember not to make it all about you though – think about how what you learn and your research could benefit other people too.
3. It is who you know
When it comes to crowdfunding, it pays to start with friends and family.
Not only will it bring in extra funding, but you can seek their feedback on your campaign and whether you are selling yourself in the best way.
Consider their advice and tweak your campaign before opening it up to strangers.
4. Don’t be shy
Promote your crowdfunding campaign far and wide – think social media, local newspapers, anything that will get more people to see your page.
5. Keep in touch
Your donors have been good to you so remember them and keep in touch with updates on how your degree is progressing.