Crowdfunding is a form of fundraising and is often used as an alternative to taking out a loan. Although crowdfunding sites are best known as a way to raise capital for a new invention or project, college students have found another use for them: crowdfunding tuition.
With a crowdfunding campaign, students can ask their friends, relatives, and communities to invest in their future without asking any one person for a large amount of cash. When the cost is spread out among dozens of people, even small donations of $25 to $50 add up quickly.
Decide how much you need to raise. Most students who start crowdfunding campaigns do not expect others to foot their entire tuition bill. Instead, they use crowdfunding to supplement their other financial aid or to meet a specific need, such as buying textbooks or paying for the last class they need to graduate.
Choose a crowdfunding platform. Many well-known crowdfunding sites, such as GoFundMe and Indiegogo, can be used to raise tuition money. You will also find a handful of lesser-known sites, such as YouCaring and AngelDorm.
Set up a campaign. Most sites make setting up your campaign easy. GoFundMe even offers a guidebook that walks you through how to raise funds for education-related expenses. Make sure you explain what you will use the money for and why it matters.
Ask people to donate. Once your campaign is live, reach out to your friends and family, asking them to donate. This can be done in person or even on social media.
How Common Is Crowdfunding Tuition?
Crowdfunding is far from the most common way to pay for college tuition, but as more people recognize its potential, its popularity is increasing. According to GoFundMe, college crowdfunding campaigns raise more than $1.5 million total each month. These campaigns raise $2,000 each on average, which means the number of people using crowdfunding campaigns to help cover their tuition costs is well into the thousands. Keep in mind, too, that these numbers only represent a single crowdfunding website.
Pros and Cons of Crowdfunding
Before deciding to crowdfund your tuition, take time to weigh the pros and cons:
No debt or interest. Unlike student loans, the money you raise on crowdfunding site