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  • Writer's pictureDrew Schneider & the Battle Against Student Debt: Chariot’s February Cause of the Month

Andrew Chough, Chariot’s Senior Frontend Engineer, chose to support after experiencing the many benefits of academic scholarships himself.  

Student debt in the United States is a $2 trillion dollar problem affecting more than 20% of the population. “It’s just a huge tax on people where it makes them less likely to save money or pursue a dream job, buy a home, open a business, start a family or get married,” shares Dror Liebenthal, Founder & CEO of “It holds so many people back from realizing their full potential.”

Dror benefited from scholarships that opened doors for his own education and after struggling to set up scholarship programs at several prior employers, he saw a huge gap in the market to better engage people and companies in the fight against student debt. 

Dror Liebenthal, Founder & CEO of

“There was no cost effective way for a company to set up and run a simple scholarship program. Often they’d end up spending as much on the system as they were actually giving away,” recalls Dror. That’s how was born - a nonprofit platform that lets a donor set up scholarship funds with their donations and defray the prohibitive costs of college to students everywhere. 

Andrew Chough, Chariot’s Senior Front-End engineer, was drawn to the mission because of his own experience.

“I remember being so intimidated by the costs of college and I applied to so many scholarship opportunities. Even if they were small, they went such a long way in making college more financially viable and reducing my stress in the process.” 

Being a frontend engineer himself, Andrew was also impressed with the product that the team had developed and the optimized user experience. “It’s awesome to see such a tech-forward nonprofit filling this gap in the market and taking such a creative approach to curbing the student debt crisis,” says Andrew.

It’s easy for anyone to come to, set up their own scholarship fund with a simple donation and determine the specific parameters for applicants. Any student can also come to, set up their profile and easily start applying to scholarships that are most relevant for them. The team has focused on removing all the hassle on both sides so that both the donor and students are spending their time and energy on the best parts of the experience.

The organization raised over $3 million in 2023 after growing over 100% per year for the past several years - all from inbound, organic interest. Looking ahead, Dror is focused on engaging with new growth channels more intentionally to quickly scale the impact they’re having. One of those channels is Donor Advised Funds, which many donors have been asking about.

Dror was excited to learn about Chariot’s capabilities to attract more DAF donors making larger DAF gifts directly in their platform. The team was also pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to get started. Dror added that “we had always assumed that Donor Advised Funds would be a complicated and challenging thing to include in our platform, but Chariot was so easy.”

The average DAF donor’s gift is nearly $5k (according to Fidelity Charitable), which is 24x as large as the average online credit card gift of $204 (according to the Blackbaud Institute). Since added DAFpay™️ to their forms, these much larger DAF gifts can be made in 3 clicks and change the trajectory of a student’s life. 

“I’ve heard from so many scholarship winners that this is the first time they’ve ever won something. The vote of confidence that winning a scholarship offers a young person can make as much a difference as the money and that’s priceless.”

Dror has seen firsthand how these scholarships are about so much more than the money.


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