The company extends submission deadline after thousands of international students across the country apply for scholarship to help lower tuition costs
PALO ALTO, Calif – November 3, 2016 – SelfScore, an alternative analytics-based lender that provides financial services to international students, today extended the deadline to apply to the first and only international student scholarship program available in the nation. After receiving more than 5,000 applications from early outreach to campuses across the country, SelfScore has decided to extend the submission deadline to December 15th to give more students an opportunity to apply.
The scholarship is a first-of-its-kind opportunity for international students who often must pay up to 3x more in tuition than their American-born classmates. Without international students, American universities would see up to a 40 percent increase in tuition cost for local students. Many of these colleges do not offer the same scholarship or financial aid opportunities to international students, putting a much larger financial burden on them and their families. This is because financial aid is considered a loan by universities who often don’t justify the investment in international students because they aren’t members of the US financial system.
“These are students who left their families back home to pursue a great education, and yet that isn’t even the hardest part of their transition,” said Kalpesh Kapadia, CEO and co-founder of SelfScore. “International students provide immense contributions to our economy, yet face many underserved challenges when trying to break into the American financial system.”
Of the thousands of qualified applicants, six undergraduate and six graduate students will be selected at random to each receive a $5,000 scholarship. SelfScore will also enroll all applicants in a free Financial Literacy program in order to better prepare them for financial independence. The program is a comprehensive guide that teaches young adults about the evolving dynamics of finance management. The newsletter offers advice for personal and professional success in managing expenses, along with background information and use cases for various financial services that international students may not be familiar with.
“International students bring diversity of perspective and positively contribute to our campuses in several ways,” said Amy Griggs, Lead Advisor for Undergraduate Student Services at the Berkeley International Office. Unfortunately for many, the high price tag of a US education can be very challenging, and a lack of available resources makes it even more stressful. SelfScore’s scholarship is one of very few opportunities for which an international student can apply – let alone one specifically established with this population in mind. I’m excited that we can share this with our students and know it will be a great help to them.”
The traditional credit system labels international students as “thin-file”, or “no-file”, which is meant to be a measure of their credit history, and in turn, reliability. Since international students haven’t had the opportunity to develop credit in this country, due to lack of a social security number, they are put in an unfair disadvantage when it comes to receiving loans, signing up for credit cards, or even renting a car. By analyzing alternative data including the borrower’s education, source of funding, and career prospects, SelfScore uses machine learning to assess each person’s credit potential rather than relying on a non-existent credit history.
The company will be accepting applications through its website until December 15, 2016. Winners will receive their scholarshop through their universities in February 2017.
For more information about SelfScore and the scholarship program, please visit: www2.selfscore.com/scholarship
SelfScore opens the U.S. financial system to deserving but underserved populations using alternative metrics and data. In 2016, we’re connecting international students with fair credit before expanding into other products and populations. SelfScore is a venture-backed financial startup whose investors include Pelion Venture Partners, Accel Partners, Aspect Ventures, and Fenway Summer Ventures. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, subscribe to our newsletter, The Score, and check out the latest news on our frequently updated blog. Accounts issued by Celtic Bank, a Utah Chartered Industrial Bank, Member FDIC.