Published: 15th September 2021
How Raw Scholar is helping students get their study abroad plans sorted in a jiffy, totally free
Athul Krishna, the founder of Raw Scholar, converses about how they provide educational expertise at no cost for the students
If you have ever thought about pursuing higher studies abroad and backed out of it due to the long and tiresome application process, then Raw Scholar may just be the solution. And you know what? It is completely free! We talked to Athul Krishna, the 22-year old founder of Raw Scholar, who has made it a personal mission to provide support to aspiring scholars. Excerpts from a lively talk:
Where did the idea behind Raw Scholar come from?
Raw Scholar was started in 2019. I had a terrible experience back then when I went to Germany to pursue MBBS and I came to the realisation that the university atmosphere was completely unlike what I was promised by the education consultancy whose services I had availed. I felt completely cheated. Since that misexperience, I vowed to help students in such a way that they do not have to step in my shoes ever. This is how I came up with the idea of Raw Scholar, which is a completely web-based initiative where students can utilise our services for free. What we do is provide meta search engine-based recommendations to the students who wish to study abroad.
So how is it that you provide the services for free and yet manage to stay afloat?
We have had to be very smart in terms of what services we provide and how we implement them. For instance, we do not have the burden of paying for real estate or rent since our service is completely online. We have also completely eliminated the part where educational counsellors would come into play. We have made the process of recommendation completely automated. Also, earlier some users had used our platform to send many applications. So we had to introduce a limit of three applications per person that we would provide for free and from the fourth application onward we would charge a fee. We also managed to obtain a sponsor in a very fortuitous way. I had pitched my idea on Clubhouse and people from a company based in Mumbai heard it and got back to me. Thanks to their funding, we have been able to run our operations successfully.
Was it easy getting all the tech sorted?
Actually I did not know anything about computers or computer language before but just to get Raw Scholar up and running, I learned the requisite skills and made my own website from scratch. As a result I am now quite an expert in seven different computer languages. I also had a lot of help from my friends who were into web development. They provided guidance without expecting anything in return, perhaps because I was doing it for students and that too for free.
Moving forward what other services would you be providing?
We have developed a short quiz that is meant to gather information from the students about their educational preferences. Based on that, we will provide recommendations that are AI-automated. Also, we intend to start a scholarship from our profits that is meant specifically for courses for which there are no available scholarships. There are a lot of programmes for which the tuition fees are exorbitant and even highly capable students miss out on them. Our scholarship would be directed towards getting them the opportunities that they truly deserve.