What Is Feenix?
Feenix is a South African, non-profit organisation that helps university students raise money to pay their tuition fees through a crowdfunding platform.
The platform was launched in 2017 and was created to address the issue of student debt and financial exclusion in South Africa, after the #FeesMustFall movement.
Students can create a profile on the platform and begin raising money for their tertiary education, by sharing their story and financial needs.
Donors can then browse through the profiles and choose to donate funds to support a student's education. The platform allows donors to make once-off or recurring donations, and also offers the option for employers to contribute to their employees' education.
Feenix assists students with avoiding an accumulation of debt, which would have brought about issues while pursuing their studies. Feenix also disburses funds directly to the universities for a student's tuition fees and other tertiary education related expenses.
The organisation encourages students to access their community and work together to achieve the student's goals, especially students who fall within the "Missing Middle" category, and works closely with South African universities to verify students' academic and financial eligibility.
Being a part of the "Missing Middle" means students are not eligible for bursaries at times, but Feenix is able to assist this particular group.
What Is The Missing Middle?
The term "Missing Middle" refers to students who are currently considered to be "not poor enough" to qualify for funding from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), but also cannot afford to pay fees to study further.
Families that fall within the R350 000 to R600 000 household income per year bracket would fall under this "Missing Middle" category. With the financial aid scheme that provided by the South African government (NSFAS), this group of students would not qualify.
However, despite exceeding the household income threshold stipulated by NSFAS, salaries of Missing Middle parents/guardians would not be able to afford the expensive journey of pursuing higher education.
If you are interested in finding funding for your studies, see if you qualify for Feenix.
Here are the Feenix requirements
- A South African citizen/permanent resident/refugee or asylum seeker.
- A registered student at a public South African university or have current or historical debt owing to the university.
- Have a combined household income of under R600k per year.
- If you are living with a disability, your household income must come to R850 000 or less per year.
If you meet these requirements, you may apply to Feenix.
How Feenix Supports South African Students
Feenix has helped to support thousands of South African students to date, and has received recognition for its innovative approach to addressing the issue of student debt and financial exclusion.
The platform has also been lauded for its transparency and accountability, with regular reports and updates provided to donors and stakeholders.
The Feenix team is young, diverse, and passionate about education, believing that access to education should not be dependent on wealth. Standard Bank, the founding partner, shares in their belief and without their financial support and guidance, Feenix would not be in existence today.