How to use Crowdfunding to pay for your College Degree

In one of the more “outside the box” ways to pay for college, we look at how to use crowdfunding to pay for your college degree.

A few years ago, if someone came up to me and said “I’m going to use crowdfunding to pay for my degree”, I would have laughed.

I would have laughed not because I didn’t want that person to get assistant with paying for college, but more of a “is that even possible” laugh.

However, crowdfunding viable option for paying for your degree. In fact in may be a good idea to include is in your College Financial Plan.

What is Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project by raising money from a large number of people via the internet. Also known as crowdsourcing in 2015, over $34 billion was raised worldwide by crowdfunding! Wow just wow!!!!

It’s been used for a variety of entrepreneurial ventures (mostly artistic projects), medical expenses, and even travel.

Advantages

The main and obvious advantage for crowdfunding your education is that no money will need to be paid back. So no student loan debt or incurring interest for you!!!!!

The potential of virality for the campaign is especially appealing as that means more views and therefore more contributions.

Potential Disadvantages

Like anything there are negatives and there are some with the crowdfunding method. People contributing and funding to a person they don’t know may not be high on their priority lists.

Your success is going to be contingent on your compelling reason for people to fund you. There are also fees based on the site and platform you will also with transactions fees.

Crowdfunding Sites

So it’s intriguing enough for you to want to entertain but where and how on earth do you even start with a campaign in an effort to crowdfund your college degree?

You can use the following platforms to set up your campaigns.

DreamFund

Dedicating Resources to Employees of Advertising and Media Fund (DreamFund), is a non-profit foundation. They have been around since 1991 and has gifted nearly $2,000,000 to individuals.

Dreamfund charges 2.5% for their premium members and 5% for basic members to use their platform. They also charge a standard 2.9% + $0.30 for payment processing.  

GoFundMe

GoFundMe is the most popular and common crowdfunding platform out there. Setting up a campaign is easy and can be done in a few minutes. They will deduct a 5% fee from each donation you receive.

There is also a 3% processing fee that will be deducted from each donation.

Indiegogo

Used more for entrepreneurial endeavors, Indiegogo can also be used for higher education as well. The set-up is very similar to that of GoFundMe.

It’s free to start and sign up and there is a 5% fee for all funds that are raised.

PlumFund

As seen on the show shark tank, PlumFund has a proven crowd-gifting platform that makes giving and receiving simple and easy.

It’s free to use the service and the processing fees are low at 2.8% + $0.30.

Scholar Match

Scholar Match is changing the game as it’s a way for donors to provide scholarships to students. They partner with college access organizations and schools primarily in the Bay Area.

Students are nominated by partner organizations and apply to join Scholar Match.

Power of the Masses

Where crowdfunding really becomes powerful is that it allows many to become part of your story. From the masses of people you don’t know, family, and friends you will have an ample amount of support to achieve your goal.

So crowdfunding your education is interesting and perhaps something you want to try. You’ve seen where you can do just that but what do you need to know to make an attractive campaign?

Tips for Crowdfunding your Education

Specify Your Goal

If you have clear goals, then people are going to be more inclined to participate in you reaching the goals. Share what your aspirations are after college. What you’re your exact career goals and why are you wanting to go on this path? The more you tell, the more people will be able to engage.

Your Time to Charity

A good way to get donations and movement in your campaign is to state that you will spend your own time assisting a charity that means something to you. This will show those donating out there that you will pay it back and pay it forward.

You can make a promise to teach others something and show that a donor’s money will be put to good use.

Have a Social Media Plan

You might not be a fan of Social Media, but in this case it’s going to be important to use. It’s the easiest and fastest way to spread the news for your fundraiser. The more you are sharing the fundraiser, the more people will see it.

The plan you create should include a list of people you can reach out to which includes friends, family, teachers, and colleagues. You can create a special hashtag as well to make it easy for people to find and follow.

Alumni Outreach

Alumni that are passionate about their University welcome the opportunity to give back. Contributing to a potential student that will have the opportunity to be successful is something alumni’s love.

Attending alumni events to promote your crowdfunding is also an effective way to get your campaign out there.

Updates and Updates

Your fundraising page will be your hub for updates. People who follow are going to want to know where you are. It’s good to keep people in the loop and sharing your thoughts on how you are thankful for those who have already supported you.

Social Events

Hosting a social event is a great way to bring people together. Campus groups can help you with the hosting as well due to already having a presence on campus. Make it fun and people will come!

Final Thoughts

So my final thoughts on attempting to use crowdfunding to pay for your college degree is……….give it a try. Why not? You really have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

It takes a certain person to “put yourself out there” and tell the world your story. Some may not be comfortable with doing that. If you happen to be one of those people that are comfortable with that then go for it.

The setting up seems to be easy enough and you will just need to dedicate some time and hours into it. This holds true especially if you are going the route of hosting events etc.

It’s a potential funding method that should be considered when you are creating your college financial plan. Word of advice, is to have the same thought process that you do with the other methods to pay for college in that don’t put all your eggs in the crowdfunding basket.

If you have set the expectation high and then do not reach that goal, then you can view it as a letdown. Keep in mind too that if your desire financial plan for college consist of applying for scholarships, then you will also need to dedicate some time to applying for those as well.

A good idea may be to block out your time and dedicate which days you will be focusing on each of these. It’s a lot for a young person to take on so communication with your family will also be beneficial for support. Again it’s a job and perhaps even a part-time job that will be added to the mix into your already busy life.

That is all for now. Thank you so much for reading and I hope this has provided you with another potential option.  

If you have any comments or thoughts on crowdfunding for your college education then let us know. We would love to hear from you.

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