Student debt is an ongoing crisis in South Africa which indicates the importance of having crowdfunding platforms to help students financially.
OVER R21.3 million has been paid out in funding 351 students in need of financial aid across the country by digital crowdfunding organisation, Feenix.
The crowdfunding platform was established to help students connect with communities and funders to pursue a debt-free education. Corporate and individual funders can invest an amount of their choosing in youth education through the platform by contributing to the remaining balance of a student’s university fees.
According to the platform, the economic impact made by the ongoing nationwide lockdown strained students’ ability to fund their tertiary studies. And, through crowdfunding pay-outs, Feenix sought to enable students to enter 2022 with a stronger sense of certainty in an uncertain economic context.
Leana de Beer, chief executive officer of Feenix, said: “The pandemic has been a catalyst of turbulence for students who need financial support for their studies. While tertiary education fees were already quite high pre-pandemic, funding challenges for students have been exacerbated by the private sector’s tight-pursed response to the national Covid-19 lockdown.”
Since the launch of the platform in 2017 over R85.6 million has been raised, assisting 2,325 students.
De Beer said that before funds were disbursed, the outstanding debt for each student was verified by Feenix with the educational institutions and was then paid out through the Feenix platform to the universities on a quarterly basis.
Any excess funds raised can be allocated to another student who has not yet reached their fund-raising goal.
“These contributions have a truly meaningful impact on students’ concerns about their future. Educational funding challenges have a highly detrimental impact on the daily lives of students, including their levels of anxiety and academic progression, and so we thank this year’s stakeholders for playing a prudent role in alleviating pressure,” said De Beer.