How to Crowdfund for College
Crowdfunding is an easy way to pay for college or ease the burden of student loans. The practice, which asks family, friends or strangers for donations via email and websites, has caught on in the past decade.
A February 2017 report from GoFundMe, a crowdfunding site, revealed in the past three years, more than 130,000 users have raised $60 million from more than 850,000 donations for college tuition and related expenses.
Be warned, though, that this method is not a surefire way to pay for college and success isn’t guaranteed. Scholarships still are your best bet to receive free money for college.
If you do choose to use crowdfunding as part of your college plan, here are a few tips to make your campaign more successful:
- Tell your story and make it personal. Making a short video about yourself could help boost donations.
- Be sure to detail any challenges you face in paying for college or repaying student loans. This helps people understand why you need the money
- Talk about how the money will foster your education and allow you to impact the world
- Be specific on how you will use the money, whether it’s for tuition, books or living expenses
- Most students who launch fundraising campaigns do not get fully funded, especially if they rely on contributions from strangers, as opposed to friends and family
- Publicize your fundraising campaign to friends and family because they are more likely to give
- If you ask for less money, you are more likely to be fully funded
- Students who are closer to college graduation are more likely to be funded
- Do not offer any goods or services in exchange for contributions or the money could be considered taxable income
- Say thank you and provide updates on how the money helped you
When financial aid and federal student loans aren't enough to cover all college costs, consider financing the gap with private student loans. Shop around to find the loans that best fit your needs.