Helping to find more scholarships.

With lockdowns worldwide, the demand for online learning and in tandem with that, the search for scholarships, is set to increase.

“We will make available more learning options and scholarships on our enhanced website which will be re-launched end of the month,’’ said Scholarships2u CEO Matthew Gan.

So far, a total of RM100 million in scholarships has been pledged by more than 100 universities and schools worldwide.

The enhanced website will likely see listings of government scholarships in Malaysia and the region, as well as corporate foundations; the company aims to have RM1 billion pledged by October.

Todate, about RM15 million in scholarships has been disbursed to Malaysian students.

Universities, faced with more empty seats, following poor economic growth due to the virus attack, are expected to allocate more scholarships to fill these places.

Basically, Scholarships2u gets a referral fee from the universities which also advertise on the platform; it also conducts its own test called the scholarship benchmark test, to assess candidates’ eligibility.

With a team of six, the company which is seed funded, is looking to hire another three to four more people; it is talking to a few more potential investors for seed funding and also, to raise bridge financing.

The company, which has evolved from doing student placements to scholarship matching, is now well-positioned to ride on the digital wave in e-learning.

For 16 years, Gan had been helming the student placement business, ET Education, that was started by his father.

Seeing the high demand for scholarships, he hit on the idea, four years ago, of a scholarship platform that would provide convenience and ease of reference on the scholarships available.

“Parents came looking for scholarships; at the scholarship fair in 2017, about 6,000 people had registered,’’ said Gan.   

Besides listings of universities and scholarships, the standard assessment for eligibility that is provided also helps students to save on costs and and time.

They do not have to go round hunting for scholarships and sitting for various eligibility tests.

From the initial idea, the process of setting up took six to nine months; the company turned in some profits last year.

The response from educational institutions is good. Besides filling their empty seats, they are happy to get good students as this will boost their rankings.

“Place emphasis on innovation and strategy, get it right before execution,’’ said Gan of his business philosophy.

The company plans to expand China, India, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Hong Kong, in a cost effective way, through buying traffic from these countries.

In times of downturn, this education service from Scholarships2u will be valued even more as the company works towards its  vision to be the leading provider of scholarships.

By Yap Leng Kuen, Chief Story Teller, The Artisans Haven