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#NSPA2018 Brings Inspiration and Collaboration to the Scholarship Community

Wednesday, January 16, 2019  
NSPA exists to create a collaborative space where members can join forces to create the largest impact possible. #NSPA2018 in Albuquerque, NM proved to be an inspirational event that led to a wonderful synergy between two NSPA members/2018 exhibitors. Samantha Stuber, Scholars.Shop, and Andrea Robertson, UniBoost, are excited to sharethe story of their new project in


hopes of sparking creativity and inspiration among fellow members.

Q. Can you give us some background information on Scholars.Shop and UniBoost?
SS:
I was tired of helplessly watching my students sift through unattainable scholarships for their $65,000 per year education. As a College Counselor working with struggling students and also being the middleman for scholarship providers to connect with students who fit their profile, I knew there had to be a better way.

Scholars.Shop provides a place for every student to raise money for their education through scholarships and crowdfunding. In our marketplace, scholarship providers can list and create online applications, allowing students to discover, apply and raise money for their education.

UB:UniBoost is a scholarship application website whose mission is to simplify the application process for both students and providers. Providers can put their application online or just add their listing to UniBoost to get their scholarship opportunities in front of more students. For students, responses to application questions are auto-filled on subsequent applications, cutting down on the time it takes to apply.

UniBoost started when I wanted to begin my own scholarship fund but found that it was complicated to get one started. I wanted to build a solution that made it quick and easy to create the application and advertise it to students across the nation without requiring a complicated software solution.

Q: Tell us about the catalyst for this collaboration?
Our collaboration started organically at the NSPA conference in New Mexico this past year. We are both new NSPA members and were exhibiting just around the corner from each other. Although we live in two different states, California and Texas, we found that we have a tremendous amount in common, including our experience and passion for helping students afford higher education.Time and time again, we both heard a common problem: electronically transferring scholarship funds to universities.

Q: Can you explain what this collaboration means for scholarship providers?
Since the conference, we have both been collaborating and speaking with scholarship providers and universities to understand the need further. We met a tremendous number of amazing people and organizations at the conference facing this problem!

Both of us also realized that we make a really good team. Andrea has a background in technology and payment solutions and Sam has a background as a high school college counselor.

We are now starting to work with certain organizations in a pilot program to electronically disburse their scholarship payments to universities and students. We are starting with a small group so that we can work intimately together to shape the platform to their needs. Feedback is also really important to us in order to build the best platform for these and other scholarship organizations to come.

Q: What's the impact you're trying to make in the community?
We are both extremely passionate about increasing access to education and making it more affordable for students. Currently, we are doing this by making it easier for scholarship organizations to handle the transfer of funds, allowing them to focus on where it is really important, the students.

We hope to continue making an impact within the industry and helping more students and organizations increase access and affordability for students around the world.

If organizations are interested in finding out more information or being part of our pilot program, they can fill out this short form or contact either one of us atSam@Scholars.ShoporAndrea@uniboost.co.

Thank you to the following organizations for their generous support!

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