Masters student successfully raises £10,000 via Twitter

An Oxford student has successfully raised the £10,000 needed for her masters via crowd funding.

Rachael Owhin launched the campaign, with the hashtag, #Oxford10000, in August. The aim was to raise £10,000 in 10 days so she could guarantee her masters degree in Oxford University.

Rachael says: “I’d turned to crowd funding as a final plea to get me to Oxford […] I’d thought about crowd funding for a while but always talked myself out of doing it. At this point, I had no other option and told myself to go for it!”

Rachael decided to turn to the public to try and raise the final £10000 needed for the college and tuition fees, which stood at £18,100 and were required by 1st September.

“I used the hashtag #OXFORD10000 to spread the word on social media – particularly twitter – and it spread like wildfire! One of my tweets received over 700 retweets in a day! A day before the campaign launched, I asked a few friends to simply tweet #OXFORD10000, with no explanation, in order to get people questioning what it was and spark interest. The hashtag I used really summed up the campaign and got people on board – it’s catchy and to the point!”

Rachael was planning to study an MSc in Migration Studies, which 48 students worldwide were selected for. In the first 24 hours, she succeeded in raising £3,650.

For Rachael it highlighted the issue of funding in the university. She said: “The lack of funding out there for postgraduate study is quite shocking. When I found out I didn’t get the HEFCE scholarship, I was pretty much lost. It’s a tragedy that many prospective students have to turn their places down due to lack of funds. I believe that if you have the ability, and have been accepted on to a course, nothing should stand in the way of you achieving your potential.”

“Though home students have the advantage of taking the career development loan, many are rejected for it which puts them back to square one in their plight for funding!”

According to her press release, Rachael was competing against students who attended independent schools when she applied for the HEFCE Scholarship, which over 900 students applied for.