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When it comes to finding money to pay for college, there are many options including scholarships, grants, student loans, and more. But some ways are more helpful than others. After all, while student loans can cover the cost of your books, you’ll have to pay that back later with interest.
PeduL is a site that is focused solely on funding post-secondary education through crowdfunding. The company is different from other crowdfunding sites because it sends money right to the school. PeduL was started in 2017 by two students at Rutgers since they saw their classmates struggling to pay for school.
How PeduL Works
Crowdfunding sites like PeduL allow students to ask friends, family, and the general public for help reaching their dreams. This is very similar to how other crowdfunding sites help students, but there are a few differences.
The first is that you might have access to a broader scope of people you don’t know who want to help fund the educations of others. Unlike on general crowdfunding sites, the people who browse PeduL for funding opportunities are people who want to fund educational opportunities for others.
By using PeduL, you might end up having to take out less in student debt. Reducing the need for student loans, by any amount, can have a big impact on students’ financial futures. As a newer site, there also might be fewer students on the platform looking to get funding. That could mean more opportunity for you to snag cash.
Another benefit of using PeduL is that their safeguards give donors the confidence of knowing that their money will be used for the purpose specified. They only allow those who are seniors in high school or currently enrolled in a higher education institute to raise funds. They also transfer money directly to the school so that donors know their dollars are going towards tuition.
PeduL is also trying to partner with corporations and scholarship providers to bring sponsors of those onto their platform and help create professional opportunities for students after graduating.
Worried about how much their site will cost you? The good news is that PeduL does not charge students anything. Instead, they allow sponsors to choose between a No Tip (0%), 5%, 10%, 15%, or 20% fee from the sponsor when they complete their sponsorship. Also, if you don’t raise the full amount that you targeted, you still get to keep the money.
Want to thank the donors who gave you money? PeduL makes it easy by allowing you to share updates throughout your campaign and also giving you donors’ e-mail and phone numbers in order to share a more personalized thank you.
Furthermore, PeduL allows students who haven’t entered school yet to run campaigns in order to help pay for the semester. The student must eventually enroll in school in order to receive the funds which are sent directly to the school upon enrollment.
Despite the fact that PeduL has some great benefits, there are also a number of drawbacks. Since they are a relatively new platform, there are currently fewer donors who use it. While that might change in the future, there is no way of predicting that.
Another drawback is that if you are a student, PeduL shares your e-mail online with potential sponsors. While that could be a great way to connect with potential donors to tell them about yourself, it also seems like it has the potential to leave students open to trolling or inappropriate messages.
In addition, while there is no cost to the student, the fee tacked onto donor contributions can be fairly steep – though you do have options. If your aunt wants to contribute to your education, she’s better off just giving you the money the next time she sees you.
Finally, PeduL might raise students’ expectations without being able to deliver. Most crowdfunding still relies on getting friends and family to donate. A brief look at the current fundraising being done on the site shows that there were a lot of students who had a goal to raise $10,000 and they had yet to raise $500. Some had yet to raise $100. If students were to believe they could rely on crowdfunding, they might not take other steps to make sure that they’re able secure funding for their schooling.
Finally, more might be done to suggest ways for students to run more successful crowdfunding campaigns, like encouraging students to e-mail and message friends and family and giving them sample letters to make it easier.
PeduL has a lot of potential, but the website has yet to take off. It’s also important that students are aware of the difficulties of crowdfunding things like their education and how the majority of donations will likely come from people that they already know. Finally, despite the fact that PeduL is free to students, the high cost to donors might be a challenge for the website.
Author: Nate Matherson