For a long time, since blockchain technology became more widely known, the word was associated with crypto currencies like bitcoins. Lately, though, it has become clearer to the populace that it goes beyond digital currencies. Toward the end of last year, for example, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi awarded graduands their degrees in a blockchain based digital form, unveiling a new facet of the technology. So today, when we talk about blockchain technology, we do not just mean the infrastructure that enabled Ethereum and Bitcoin come into the world. There is a much larger and bigger picture.
The true potential of the technology is still being discovered in the way it is transforming major sectors. One of the sectors the technology may truly revolutionize is education. The Covid-19 pandemic has hugely affected educational institutions all over the world. It has become clear that blended learning and zoom classrooms may be here to stay. There is knowledge from all over the world that can be accessed online, by anyone and everyone.
The student debt crisis
The pandemic is not the only thing that has affected the education sector though. Another more sinister issue has been endemic – student debt. As of 2020, 44 million Americans owed over $1.6 trillion in student debt and those numbers have been growing. At the same time, technological advancements like automation have been making it more difficult to earn living wage without a degree, so that getting in debt seems inevitable. College graduates today earn over 80% more than people with a high school diploma.
Yet, it is more expensive than it has ever been to get into college. That dichotomy makes the situation very difficult for the student. The choice for them is between going into debt you cannot repay or missing out on the benefits of a degree. Experts always talked about this crisis but then it was worsened by the pandemic and the economic crisis that followed. A short while back, in 2008, the US officially entered a recession and over 42.6 million Americans were unemployed. During that recession, many people decided to go back to school and learn new skills, but since then, the cost of getting a degree has gone up by 25% and student debt plummeted by 107%. It is utter chaos.
Scholar is a platform that was made to address the student debt problem not just in America, but all over the world. The team realized that student debt holds graduates back from attaining financial independence and homeownership and decided to do something about it. To them, no one should be in debt for all of their life. The platform works to reduce the initial costs of higher education for college students by availing scholarships and making them more equitably dispersed and more accessible.
Most charitable giving options and academic scholarships tend to be inefficient and opaque and they end up underperforming. They end up not achieving the intended purpose. Sch0lar hopes to help with this. Their protocol takes the existing structure of scholarships and improves their performance infinitely using blockchain and DeFi. In so doing, they create more money for more students and help the donor experience to be more meaningful while building an immersive token and ecosystem. Sch0lar is the ultimate blockchain innovation revolutionizing student financing and the education sector.
The sch0lar platform connects all of academia using their ecosystem, community and token. Talking about their platform, the Chief Innovation Officer at Sch0lar, Ted Zipoy, said that ‘Sch0lar brings the transparency, speed, and performance of DeFi to academic charitable giving. Our protocol alleviates the core issues of misdirected funds, underperforming endowments, and donor dissatisfaction by amplifying donations using DeFi yields, empowering donors to control their funds, with full on chain visibility. The result is a peer-to-peer giving network that empowers students, donors, and academic institutions.’
About the company
The platform, which is expected to launch in May 2022, is hugely user-centric. The team is big on equity and transparency, claiming that those virtues guide a lot of their operations. The solutions are engaging and intuitive to help donors, students and other stakeholders to find value and to give their contributions to the platform with ease. Sch0lar is created by a diverse team but with a shared mission and ethos that will positively impact the education system.
Why give through sch0lar?
As a donor, you can give your donations through the platform. When you donate cash or cryptocurrencies, you get a tax break. You can pick a DeFi yield option to multiply your donation. The platform protocol not only connects you with students, it scales your fund. Then, you get to choose the students who get scholarships from that fund, and sch0lar handles the rest. Because it is blockchain-based, the platform gives you more transparency in your transactions and distributions than traditional giving.
Unlike traditional giving, you get to choose what you are giving to, how much you give and who gets your donations. Besides donor and community control, sch0lar also makes it possible to have a wide donor portfolio. Universities and DAFs will be able to accept and grow digital assets, not just cash assets as is the case with traditional giving. The platform is designed to ease the application process for students without compromising the review process. As if that’s not enough, the platform has lower overhead fees than traditional giving and a higher APY return. In short, sch0lar offers more donations to more students in a transparent and better engaged community. Could things get any better?