Scholarship Apartments to alleviate student debt

Scholarship Apartments plans to offer tenants 47.1 per cent of tuition fees

Photo by Jessica Dik
Photo by Jessica Dik

Paying for tuition and rent as a post-secondary student is inevitable. Why not put your rent towards a residence that will reimburse you once you have finished your degree? This plan to revolutionize the student housing market is an idea in the works.

Scholarship Apartments is a startup created to try to provide students with living accommodations throughout their post-secondary degree while offering an opportunity to eliminate student debt.

Ensuing the completion of their degree, students residing with Scholarship Apartments will be rewarded with a bursary — a rebate made up of approximately 50 per cent of the rent that they have contributed will be given back.

Based off of an average of $3500 per term in tuition fees and around $550 per month in rent, Scholarship Apartments hopes to be able to offer each tenant a payoff translating into 47.1 per cent of tuition fees.

“I have always been against paying for rent. If there was a way to set up an investment plan and reward students for the time that they contribute for themselves, it would be a great way to help them pay for their education and student debt,” said Arman Aryapour, founder of the Scholarship Apartments innovation as well as a former Wilfrid Laurier University business student.

However in order to reside with Scholarship Apartments, each student must sign a four-year lease – the average length of a degree in Ontario – and be considered in need of financial assistance; thus complying with OSAP’s requirements.

“We’re focusing on rewarding students for simply finishing their degree [at] any respective school in Ontario,” Aryapour explained.

Operational for almost 30 days, the startup has raised close to $2500. As a social venture, the concept is currently working on crowd funding in order to acquire the funds necessary to make the apartment a reality.

In order to do so, their goal is to one day reach $1.8 million to cover the costs of building construction fees.

Aryapour explains the startup hopes to attain this sum and have the apartment in approximately one to two years. The $1.8 million is expected to provide residence for 30 students.

In addition to crowd funding, the innovation team is working on applying for bursaries, contacting political parties for government funding and working on becoming a registered charity in Canada.

Creating awareness is another main objective of the project. In contract to solely seeking money, the operation hopes to capture a target audience to spread the cause. Aryapour firmly believes they will receive the necessary funds through the tactic of raising awareness.

“Right now, we’re focusing more on creating awareness. We’re focusing more on the brand itself, [as] opposed to pitching and begging for donations. We believe that will come sooner than later. We just need more people on board, than just asking for money,” said Aryapour.

“We just need people to fall in love with what we’re doing. That’s our number one priority right now.”

Furthermore, the initiative plans to connect with local entrepreneurs as a source for mentorship. Aside from receiving funding, they hope through mentorship they will receive deeper knowledge in regards to how to properly execute their plan and make Scholarship Apartments a reality.

“It’s just at an early stage. That’s the hurdle that we’re experiencing,” said Aryapour, explaining that thus far he has experienced positive feedback from the community, venture capitalists and students.

“The majority of our fan-base are students,” he said.

One main goal of the project is to decrease drop-out rates and relieve students of debt in order to allow them to work towards their dream job, in contrast to merely working after graduating in order to pay off loans.

Despite the many scholarships available to help students avoid student debt, Aryapour believes students deserve to be rewarded for simply completing their degree.

“It’s a way of showing students that rent can pay off in the future,” he said.


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