Interview: This team of young people is changing the face of education

ScholarX is a social enterprise that is posed to redefine the education sector through its proprietary scholarship matching platform that gives prospective student access to essays and other education services.

In this interview with YNaija #Impact365 Series, Abolade Lawal, co-founder of ScholarX speaks on the application and their plans to revolutionize the education sector.

IMG_4747Could you tell more about ScholarX?

Thank you for having me. There are a few ways to describe what we are. But in simple terms, ScholarX is a Social enterprise that serves to improve access to affordable education by helping Nigerian students home and abroad gain easy access to available scholarships through a proprietary scholarship matching platform and related services.  Our mission is to ensure that Nigerians can access top quality education on any level worldwide and we aim to achieve that by harnessing new generation information technology tools to develop and deliver quality user experiences.

What led to its formation?

The initial idea was conceived by Maxwell, one of the Co-founders and Technical lead who during his University days applied and won various scholarships. But faced the challenge of accessibility to a lot more scholarships he could have applied for. So he sought to develop a platform that helps Nigerians studying in Nigerian universities gain easy access to verified scholarships. During this process contacted Abayomi, a former classmate of his. Abayomi felt this was the perfect opportunity to get me involved as we’ve been friends for over a decade, and even though I lived in the US, we’ve always discussed innovative ways to help people out in Nigeria. So during our initial dialogues, Abayomi and I felt this was a good idea, but it will be great if we expanded our reach to Nigerians studying anywhere in the world. We all agreed and thus ScholarX was born.

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Is this application available on all devices?

Right now its available for Android and iOS devices. We hope to have it on Windows and Blackberry in the near future.

How long has your initiative been around? So far, how receptive have people been towards the product?

A very short while. We launched the Android version July 8, 2016 and the  iOS version about a week after.

So far reception has been fantastic. This was evident during the just concluded Techplus conference where we showcased the app. We received  overwhelming positive feedback from attendees, event organizers, guests and fellow exhibitors. We are barely a month from when we launched and downloads on both platforms combined is approaching 1,000.

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What are the key features of ScholarX

In addition to the seamless search functionality, where users can simply select a few criteria to get personalized results, ScholarX has a few more cool features like:

Advisory Service – Subscribers have full access to our on-staff scholarship Advisor who is available to answer scholarship related questions form what scholarships to apply for, to how to prepare a competitive application.

Exclusive Scholarship – Scholarships that we created ourselves or got corporate bodies to sponsor exclusively for our subscribers. We have one of such right now and it is due on august 13. So we encourage people to download the app and subscribe. It is never too late.

Essay review and editing – with this service (additional fee by request) our contracted professional writers based in the US can help Users fine tune their essays and personal statements.

Student Discount listings – we have put together a listing of discounts  students can benefit from, like computer hardware/software, travel,  movies, food etc. As a matter of fact, we just locked up a deal for students travelling abroad to go study with a local based travel agency. Details will be in the Nigerian discounts section of the app soon.

Real-time database and notifications
Coming soon: Foreign schools admissions information.

Were there any difficulties or constraints in making this application?

In any new endeavor like this there are bound to be constraints, especially if you take the uniqueness of the Nigerian market into consideration. But we’re thankful that we’ve been able to make this dream a reality despite a few holdups.

IMG_4765How did you structure it to fit the Nigerian market specifically?

Great question. Simplicity and mass appeal. We sought to keep the  application simple, from the User interface to the information required from the user. Also by charging a token fee of N500/year for subscription to gain full access, we believe people will be compelled to  adopt an app that gives them easy access to scholarship opportunities, especially in this economic climate.

IMG_4756What future do you foresee for ScholarX?

We definitely see a bright future, provided that we continue to work really hard and people support us by getting on board. There are quite a  few concepts and components we have lined up for our users. Also African  expansion is a goal of ours. We will like to make this a success in  Nigeria, so we can use it as a template to implement in other African countries. Ghana or South Africa seems like the next place to explore.

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