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3C Fund: Community's Cyclic Commitment to Education

Re-imagining ed-costs through a cyclic community-student program that enables bi-directional flow of funds leveraging shared economies

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Who is the target audience for your idea and how does it reimagine the cost of college?

The program closely works with public and community schools who are key stakeholders and the primary decision makers in identifying which students get nominated to receive the community fund. Once the students are enrolled in the program, their educational costs are paid from the community fund, on the condition that students on graduating have to give back over certain time frame. This fund then rotates to the next batch of selected students- creating a cycle of education!
The idea is broken into three parts of execution. And further explained by 'experience mapping visuals'


Community extends the support to the students by forming the Fund ( State and private contributions). The fund is associated with public and community schools who nominate students that are motivated to study further. The Community extends support in terms of covering 100 % tuition fee as well as access to online educational material, ensuring an all round educational development.

This happens in 2 phases, 

  1. Nomination from Community
    • True potential of students is best observed by the teachers who not only spend quantitative and qualitative time with students, but also are deeply embedded in the community and understand the socio-economic conditions of their students. Also, it is important to recognize tell tale signs of a potential student that are represented not just by excelling in an academic environment but in community or state level organized events. Thus, embedding the first nomination cycle of 3C Fund in the hands community or public schools ensures that students from diverse backgrounds are selected. 
    • 3C Fund nomination offers unique nomination process, different from self nomination system followed in traditional scholarship methods, such that nominating students is a collective effort of teachers and administrative staff, thus ensuring that they evaluate all criteria's of a student. Having more than one school staff involved in selection of student decreases chances of bias.
    • Nomination = Acknowledgment: Student nomination to 3C Fund also acts like a motivational strategy for students to work towards. Being acknowledged for their hard-work & commitment further encourages students to perform and act more responsibly.
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  • Local Community involvement enables more opportunities for students: 3C Fund wants to encourage local community to play pivotal role in aiding education. Thus, it allows local businesses to donate as CSR. Not only does giving to 3C Fund benefit the business in terms of receiving tax benefits but also increases the number of nominations in the public schools of the neighborhood.  For example, if 10 local businesses of neighborhood ABC donate to 3C fund , then the public schools in that neighborhood can nominate more number of students for 3C Funding, as compared to other neighborhoods.
  • State Involvement also can increase Nominations: Other than local businesses, individual states governments can also increase nominations from certain neighborhoods that can benefit from better education. This flexibility ensures focus in communities that can benefit from better education.
  • All nominations are sent to 3C Fund which then evaluates all applications. Each year, the number of applications fluctuates based on 3C Fund's ability to forecast number of ongoing community repayments as well as other donations.
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    Partnering with a financial institution like UBS allows 3C Fund to develop a knowledge sharing partnership, for building econometric models as well as sharing retail space through their well distributed banks. UBS on the other hand benefits from incoming high potential students that can become potential clients of the bank.  


    2. Selection & Initiation:

  • Evaluation criteria of 3C Fund is similar to National Merit Scholarship Program. Once the student is selected, they are informed to visit the closest UBS Branch to meet their 3C Fund Advisor. The 3C Fund advisor meets not just the student but also the family and informs them what it means to be a part of 3C Fund Community. The potential students are informed before-hand about the repayment policies and legalities of being a responsible 3C Funder. The final decision of acceptance depends on the student and the family. The students can choose from some flexible funding opportunities available by 3C Fund, i.e tuition fee or tuition fee + living cost. 
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Offers increased engagement opportunities between professionals and the students that are benefitting from their support. The program offers the option for professionals to become mentors to students too. The match between students and professionals is done by a core-committee, in order to mitigate external influences that can corrupt the system. We propose complete anonymity, however, final authority of disclosing information is left on the real beneficiaries, the students.

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Is when the role reverses, the students, now professionals, who availed the fund are now bound to pay in return, the cost of another student's fee. The professionals do not know which students they are paying for, hence making an anonymous contribution to the Community Fund. The Fund then extends these resources to other deserving students. Thus, ensuring cyclic contribution

  1.  New professionals select payment plan
    • Students who become professionals have to visit their 3C Fund Advisor located in the closest UBS Branch within first 3 months of being employed, to discuss which plan they will chose to repay.
    • Based on their annual salary, 3C fund suggests a payment plan. 3C offers three flexible payment plans. These are: a) Repayment within 5- 10 years; b) Repayment within 10-15 years; c) Repayment in 15+ years.


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     2. Choosing to repay earlier more beneficial and is encouraged by 3C         Fund. These being: 

  • Lower overall repayment cost- Since 3C Fund creates aggregated tuition fee based on annual average cost of education, this aggregate is effected by inflation or deflation in overall cost of education. Thus professionals who repay earlier may not be effected by such additional costs.
  • Receive incentives from UBS- Repaying their dues earlier is also a good indicator of responsible financial management, thus, partnering financial institution(UBS) offers these professionals lower rate of interest for purchasing house/car loans.


    3. Encouraging positive actions through 3C Fund Social Network

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What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

What incentives can be given to higher educational institutes to enroll in the program? What other features must be included to make it truly cyclic? What can be the loop holes? How can the system be exploited?

This idea emerged from

  • A group brainstorm

Evaluation results

11 evaluations so far

1. Does this idea make college more accessible, especially for low income students in the U.S.?

Yes! - 60%

To a degree - 30%

Not that I can tell - 10%

2. Does this idea think beyond current cost structures of college and activate new sectors or partners?

Yes! - 72.7%

It's attempting to - 9.1%

Not that I can tell - 18.2%

3. How excited are you about this idea?

I'm so excited I just can't hide it! - 54.5%

I'm pretty neutral in my excitement level - 27.3%

I don't feel very excited about this idea. - 18.2%


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