Million Dollar Scholar

Published on July 8, 2014 um 06:19

Name of Enterprise

Million Dollar Scholar


2948 W. 36th Place
60632 Chicago
United States

Your title/position


Type of Enterprise

registered company

Enterprise has a positive impact on

education , poverty reduction , youth

Year the enterprise was founded


Summary of your enterprise

Million Dollar Scholar is an education technology social venture that offers an instructive e-platform to help students win scholarships and avoid higher education debt. Our vision being a world in which peoples access to higher education is not limited by their economic circumstances. Students, families, and the K-12 education system are in need of solutions that can help decrease financial barriers to higher education, and these solutions must be low cost and highly scalable. Our innovation meets both criteria and we believe this will allow us to disrupt the traditionally non-scalable vis-a-vie education-consulting model. Using a scalable web platform that can deliver educational content and services to student users remotely and on-demand, Million Dollar Scholar aims to become the first open online course focusing on scholarship success and awareness tailored to high school and college students.

Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development

Over 25,000 unique visitors have came to our platform in under six months and through longitudinal surveys of initial users of our current beta platform, in our first sixth months of operation we helped students gain over $1,500,000 in scholarship awards and grants, an average of $7,500 for the user who went through our entire curriculum. We also created $2,000 in scholarships from revenue generation during that period. With this same data In a pilot program where we implemented our curriculum via virtual interaction with 10 students over a two-month period, 100% showed an increase in key measured indicators including perceived preparedness to identify and win scholarships, confidence that they could win, and belief that affording a college education was possible. These early metrics suggest high inculcation of skills in our target market and measurable successful outcomes. Long term, Million Dollar Scholar aims to directly impact 1.1M lives over the next five years by disrupting the typical timeline that inadequately exposes students to college finance information only in their senior year. Our long-term vision also incorporates the creation of scholarships through reinvestment in future student users, providing the potential to generate outsized impacts in education outcomes, education finance, urban development, job creation, and poverty alleviation at the same time.

Sustainability and future plans

High school and college students are our target users, but they are often the least capable and willing to pay for educational services. Thus, our e-platform will be created for use by students with parents, high schools, post-secondary institutions, and non-profit organizations acting as customer segments. In 2012, there were roughly 4 million enrolled high school juniors and 3 million enrolled high school seniors in the United States. In addition, in 2012, there were roughly 21 million students enrolled in an institution of higher learning, 60% (12.6 million) of which took out loans. There are approximately 25,600 public and 10,700 private high schools, as well as 4,500 degree granting institutions of higher learning in the US. This is a total market segment size of approximately 45,000. Total Addressable Market: 19.6 million students, 450 Million $USD Serviceable Market: 3 million students, 90 Million $USD Target Market: 500,000 students, 35 Million $USD Parents or guardians will be able to purchase a six-month subscription for $75 (determined through the in-depth interviews) for their student(s). After B2C market validation, we intend to transition to offering custom subscriptions to high schools that would like to implement technology that can easily disseminate scholarship and financial aid information to their student body. With this model, positive cash flow is projected in 10 months with breakeven being projected in fifteen months. Our analysis projects that there is high potential to scale operations by 2016 via successful penetration of B2B customer segments (high schools, post-secondary institutions, and non-profit organizations) as well as expand globally and reach 10 million in revenue by 2018.

Your profile as an entrepreneur

Born and bred on the south-side of Chicago, Derrius is an award-winning entrepreneur and globally recognized social changemaker. A 13-year alumnus of foster care, Derrius went on to gain over one million dollars in scholarship awards before entering Morehouse College, where he graduated cum laude. As an impoverished high school student, scholarships were an invaluable resource in his pursuit of higher education. The synthesis of his personal journey and frustration associated with data collected on higher education access for low-income students led him to become the Founder and CEO of Million Dollar Scholar, an education technology social venture that provides a high-impact low-cost scholarship and financial aid curriculum to decrease financial barriers to higher education. In only one year, Million Dollar Scholar has already helped students gain 1.5 million dollars in scholarships for higher education. A sought after speaker in the area of scholarship education, he is the author of the education bestseller MillionDollarScholar: Winning The Scholarship Race. Humbly saluted by philanthropist and activist Harry Belafonte as the dream Dr. King and so many others fought for, his work has been featured on CNN, MTV, Huffington Post, TEDx, and Time and he has been honored by the Common Ground Foundation, Points of Light Foundation, as well as the White House. The first in his family to attend and graduate from college, Derrius is eager to impact the lives of low-income inner-city youth across America in a scalable fashion.

Educating Students at Morehouse College

Million Dollar Scholar Being Awarded at The White House

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