Are Millennials Crowdfunding Their College Tuition?

College tuition has long been a worry for prospective students looking to get an education. The prohibitive costs of attending have locked out many bright, young academics, and the situation isn’t getting any better. With rising costs and fierce competition for scholarships, many millennials are feeling like they have no hope of ever going to College.

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How Do You Solve A Problem Like Tuition?

As bleak as it sounds, some students are turning to alternative methods of raising funds for tuition. The world of online crowdfunding has seen a boom thanks to its part in small-scale humanitarian efforts, developing risky projects, and assisting people in financial emergencies. Now it seems that crowdfunding can be of use to helping prospective students raise some, or all of their College tuition.

A student at College of Saint Rose in New York put this to the test when he, with the help of his loving family, put together a crowdfunding campaign to help him get an education. At the time of writing, this student has raised $4000 towards his $12,000 goal thanks to the kindness of friends, family, and strangers who saw the campaign shared on the internet. It may not be the full tuition amount, but it’s certainly helping to ease the financial burden that many millennials are now suffering.

Finding The Audience

While a creative means for helping raise much-needed tuition for poorer students, there are still issues with crowdfunding when it comes to using it to get into College. Crowdfunding relies almost entirely on its ability to reach people who are sympathetic to your cause and are in a position to help. Just setting up a crowdfunding campaign does not guarantee success.

So how sustainable is crowdfunding in this context? It all depends on the individual campaign and its ability to reach the correct audience. It’s as much an exercise in public relations and publicity as it is a genuine plea for financial help.

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Identifying The Risks

There’s also the threat of “one bad apple.” One of the major turning off points of crowdfunding, in general, has been how individual campaigns can mismanage the donated money, and in some cases run off with it entirely. Some crowdfunding campaigns have directly been orchestrated as scams, leaving donators burned and unlikely to participate again.

Overall, it needs to be emphasized that each crowdfunding campaign needs to be assessed on its own merits. The only thing in common between most of these campaigns is the platform that is being used to raise money, and so to immediately dismiss them by virtue of being crowdfunded would be a rash and ignorant move. Likewise, it is important to note that many people turn to crowdfunding out of desperation after coming up to dead ends through other avenues. They’re not asking for a handout, they’re looking for compassion.

A Little Means A Lot

Nearly none of us are wealthy enough to drop hundreds on a whim for someone else’s education, but these millennials aren’t asking for that. They’re asking for the collective power of their community and beyond to spread the load. It’s your prerogative if you don’t want to donate a dollar to help someone pay for College, but if you can spare it, and you genuinely want to help someone get the education they desire; why not?

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