Iduka was formed in response to the need to make college more affordable in our communities, our nation, and the world. In early December 2008, a group of volunteers from Port St. Lucie, Florida met to organize a program to help students reach their goal of higher education. The group established a financial aid process that can bring meaningful change in our society.
Iduka’s goal is to promote college affordability by developing one more financial tool in the pursuit of higher education. The organizers developed a web-based micro-lending system that connects gifters with students, schools, and volunteer organizations. Those who receive an Iduka micro-loan agree to repay the no-interest loan per terms and conditions agreed upon with student sponsor organizations.
This Guide provides information about the program; answers many common questions applicants may ask; and includes the Application Form.
Section 1. Iduka Micro-Loans
The purpose of an Iduka micro-loan is to help students pay the expenses of higher education. Iduka micro-loans can go up to $3,000 and may be used to meet nearly any expense related to post-secondary education. For example, students may use an Iduka micro-loan to pay for tuition, books, lab fees, study abroad and more.
These loans are not the same as scholarships and grants. Students who receive an Iduka micro-loan are expected to repay the gifteras per terms and conditions agreed upon with the student sponsor organization. Iduka micro-loans are interest-free; however, Iduka field partners or student sponsor organizations may charge a small processing fee. Iduka field partner or student sponsor organization will determine the terms and conditions of each loan, including due dates and amount to be repaid each month.
Section 2. Qualifications for an Iduka Micro-Loan
Anyone with a high school diploma or GED who is enrolled in an accredited college or technical program is eligible for an Iduka micro-loan. There is no age limit or residential requirement. Minors who apply must have signed permission from a parent or guardian. Since Iduka is a web-based organization, anyone, anywhere who meets the qualifications and has access to a computer may apply.
Iduka micro-loans are not granted based solely on income. There is no maximum income that would disqualify a person from applying for a loan. A student who has received other forms of financial aid may still apply for an Iduka micro-Loan, but a person is eligible for only one Iduka loan at a time. A student who does not repay the loan will not be granted another loan. Students who withdraw from classes must still repay the loan.
Section 3. Application Process
Before submitting your application, read the Student Program Guide To Iduka Micro-loans and the Student Toolkit to determine whether you qualify as an applicant for an Iduka micro-loan. Be sure that your use of an Iduka micro-loan also qualifies.
Read the online application form carefully so that you can include all information requested, including full name and current address. You must also include documentation of a diploma and enrollment in a college or technical school. Include the amount you will need and explain how you will use it. You can submit your application at any time. You should allow enough time between submitting your application and the date you will need to use it. Several gifters may be needed to fund your Iduka micro-loan, so it will likely take longer to receive a loan over $500.00.
After you submit your application, an Iduka field partner or student sponsor organization will process it to determine whether it is complete and qualifies for an Iduka micro-loan. If you receive Iduka’s approval, your profile will be posted online for gifters to read and fund. Only gifters decide who will receive their loans. For larger loans, several gifters may be needed to meet the request. Gifters will notify Iduka of their choices and Iduka will notify the field partner or student sponsor organization working with the student, which in turn will disburse the money directly to the student. Repayment of a loan goes through Iduka. Profiles will be posted online for a period up to sixty (60) days and then will be removed from the list. Students may reapply at a later date.
Section 4. Student Micro-Loan Terms and Responsibilities
Applicants for an Iduka micro-loan must first meet the basic qualifications. That is, they must have a high school diploma or a GED and be enrolled in an accredited post-secondary education program. As part of the application process, students must sign an agreement to repay the loan and pledge to use the loan only for the education expense they indicate on their loan application. Students also must provide documentation showing their qualifications. They may be asked for a progress report or evidence of completion of a class or program. To be considered for an Iduka micro-loan, applicants must also complete the entire form with all of the information required.
An Iduka micro-loan is interest free and is to be repaid within the specified period determined by the terms and conditions agreed upon by the student. If a student is unable to repay the loan within the specified period, Iduka may arrange for the student to become a volunteer with a community organization instead of repaying the debt. Such arrangements can only be made if an appropriate community organization can be identified and Iduka has matching funds to cover the conversion of the loan to a grant. The micro-loans that are converted into an Iduka grant do not have to be repaid. However, to convert a micro-loan to a grant, a student would have to apply for the grant and be approved by Iduka. Donations to Iduka will be used to repay the micro-loans that are converted to grants. When participating it the loan-to-grant program, students will have to perform community service to repay the loans. If Iduka does not have enough matching funds, the student remains responsible for the debt. A student who has not repaid an Iduka micro-loan cannot receive another Iduka micro-loan.
Section 5. Other Sources of Financial Aid Available In the United States
There are different types of financial aid available in the United States.
For more information go to: www.FederalStudentAid.ed.gov
Section 6. Qualifying Schools, Colleges, Universities, Vocational and Trade Schools
Iduka accepts participants from all accredited post-secondary learning institutions in Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, and Okeechobee counties.
All schools will have their accreditation status verified and approved by Iduka.