Total Strangers Helping Students Pay for College

Crowd Funding If you are getting ready to go to college soon, you know the routine; submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), complete financial aid applications from your prospective schools, and search everywhere for free money for college. In the past, ‘free money’ usually implied searching for scholarships, but not anymore. Today’s college students are reaching out to complete strangers through the use of crowd funding to help cover everything from tuition to study abroad trips.

While the majority of crowd funding sites originated with the idea of helping charities or people in severe need (life-threatening illness or devastation from a natural disaster), many are now seeing an increase in campaigns specifically designed to help students pay for college. The premise is simple; tell your story and get people to donate.  The most successful campaigns include a compelling story, pictures and a limited time to donate, but where do you start? Here’s a sampling of what’s currently available.

1. YouCaring.com

This website was originally funded by a ‘generous donor’ and is now supported by donations. Unlike most of the other crowd funding sites, YouCaring.com does not charge a service fee to use its platform. Users must create a PayPal account, as any donations (minus the PayPal transaction fee) received are immediately deposited into the account. Campaigns can run for a maximum of 120 days and users can easily share their page on Facebook and Twitter.

2. GoFundMe.com

On May 10, 2010, GoFundMe.com launched its crowd funding website. Since that date, it has shown tremendous growth and has helped thousands of people raise money. The website is easy to use and can easily be shared on Facebook and Twitter. Users are charged a five percent (5%) fee per transaction, as well as the customary WePay or PayPal fees. Users can withdraw any or all of their donations at any time during their campaign.

3. MicroGiving.com

Founded in 2007, MicroGiving.com is a non-profit organization funded by corporate sponsors. Depending upon the type of campaign, users are assessed either a five percent (5%) service fee (financial hardship campaigns) or a 10 percent (10%) fee (all other campaigns), in addition to a three percent (3%) credit card processing fee. Campaigns must run for a minimum of 30 days, but no longer than 90 days. Users cannot withdraw funds until the end of the campaign ($50 minimum required).

While these websites allow for both personal and charitable fundraising, newcomer ScholarshipProz.com recently launched its Beta version, specifically designed for students raising money for post-secondary education. Students can create a campaign for any college-related expense and must notify their financial aid office about any funds received. Payment is sent to the student at the end of the campaign after a 10 percent (10%) service fee (added to the donor’s bill) and credit card processing fees have been deducted. ScholarshipProz.com expects to have a fully-functional website available by August 10, 2012. Until the website receives more media attention, however, it’s doubtful that ScholarshipProz.com will be able to generate the funding amassed by GoFundMe.com or YouCaring.com.

If you are considering a crowd funding campaign to help pay for your college education, be sure you provide documentation to verify your need; donors are more willing to help students who honestly need a little help and are not just looking for a handout. Utilize social media to help spread the word about your campaign, as this will also help attract donors to your page, and remember to thank anyone who donates. Also, be prepared to have a back-up plan, just in case you fall short of your goal. While crowd funding may seem like a great way to raise money for college, it’s really a gamble as to whether or not you’ll be successful. Personally, I’d rather spend more time finding free money for college the old-fashioned way – applying for scholarships!

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About

Tamara is the Social Media Coordinator and a regular writer for ScholarshipExperts.com, eStudentLoan.com and CampusDiscovery.com. She enjoys helping students prepare for college. As a mother of four, Tamara has first-hand experience with many areas of education, including special needs (autism), the International Baccalaureate program and post-secondary education. She enjoys speaking at schools and mentoring others online. In her free time, Tamara enjoys volunteering and supporting her favorite football team, the Jacksonville Jaguars.
116 Responses to “Total Strangers Helping Students Pay for College”
  1. Gus A Astorga says:

    I have a son who has been given a partial scholarship to attend Florida Southern College in Lakeland. At this time, I have to come up with $16,000 each year for him to attend. I need assistance to help me pay for his tuition.

    Can you give any suggestions as to who I can go to to help me finance this tuition.

    Looking forward to your reply.

    Regards,

    Gus Astorga

    • Tamara Krause says:

      Hi Gus,

      Your son should be applying to private scholarships, as well. Be sure to have him create a free account at http://www.scholarshipexperts.com, so he will be able to see which awards are currently available to him. In addition, I suggest having him run some fundraisers in your community to help raise money. A student in my town did a car wash every weekend at a local pizza shop and the business also kicked in 10% of the proceeds from the sales each day he was there washing vehicles. If you still come up short, you’ll need to look into student loans or an equity loan. Check with your bank to see what they offer and try a free comparison tool, like http://www.estudentloan.com, to find the best plan for your family. Another alternative is to have your son start at the local community college, which is much cheaper, and then transfer his junior year to a 4-year college.

  2. emile yong says:

    I just graduated from high school with excellent results but i’m unable to further my studies
    i did science and wish to be an engineer
    but my dreams are crumbling.
    I need either a job nor matter what it is or somemoney for my studies, God will you all
    Thanks

    • Tamara Krause says:

      Be sure to complete the FAFSA, apply to as many scholarships as possible, and look into crowdfunding sites, too. Some students have been successful with fundraisers in their communities, such as car washes or hosting a pizza night at a local restaurant. You can always start with a class or two at your local community college while you are working and transfer to a 4-year college in your sophomore or junior year, if you are unable to cover the expenses for a full class load at this time.

  3. Monika says:

    Hey there,
    I’m twenty and I completed 1 year at my college but was forced to take a year off due to outstanding balances. My mom is a single parent who is unable to get a loan and we haven’t had any luck finding a co-signer. Are there scholarships out there for Filipinos or kids that are first generation to go to college? I am desperate!

    • Tamara Krause says:

      Most of the first generation scholarships are awarded to incoming freshman and not older students, but check with your college financial aid department to see if they offer any for current students. You should also register for a free account at http://www.scholarshipexperts.com to find awards that are matched to your specific needs and skills. Another resource you might want to check out is the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund, http://www.apiasf.org/#4. Don’t forget to check out writing contests, too!

      • Roy M says:

        Hey
        Am a student in Kenya aspiring to join an american university.
        Finding a full scholarship for a non-citizen is so hard.
        Wat would u advice me to do because my parents cant afford the cost of attending an american college.

        • Tamara Krause says:

          I would encourage you to use http://www.iefa.org. It helps international students locate scholarships for American schools and other locations outside of their countries. In most cases, you will not receive a full scholarship, as these are even difficult for U.S. students to obtain.

  4. kenisha williams says:

    I am a young lady who got accepted to an University and will be attending there this spring. But I need help financialy. My parents past away wen I was just a little girl. I have no one around willing to help. What should I do? Is there anything out there for me?

  5. Tricia says:

    Hi! I am a single mom, over 30, trying to get my 1st degree. I am in a Nursing BSN program, but I am out of loans with only two semesters left.

    Any ideas would be fabulous~

  6. Lekem says:

    I am in schòol now but i have not yet pay my school fee my parent are old and i dont have someone to help me please help thank u

    • Tamara Krause says:

      Hi Lekem,

      Be sure to register for a free account with ScholarshipExperts.com (www.scholarshipexperts.com) and start applying for scholarships. Also, stop by your school’s financial aid office and ask if they have any grants or other financial aid available to assist you. You may have to pick up a job, if you need the money immediately, so be sure to ask about campus positions, too.

  7. Eden .T says:

    Hello Tamara,

    Okay so here is my situation, I’m 20 now, been working full time for a little over a year, I have completed High School with an Okay avrg, finished 6 SAT subject exams and I am not longer living in the states, I’ve been trying to save to go to an American College here but that hasn’t been working out, can’t take a loan from the bank because student loans here require you to pay while studying and I cant do that, my job is strictly full time.
    What are my options? If any..

    • Tamara Krause says:

      Hi Eden,

      If you haven’t done so already, I encourage you to make an appointment with the admissions office at the college you are considering and explain your situation. They may know of resources in your country or at the school that can help lower your out-of-pocket expenses. Another thing to consider is taking one or two classes per semester (or whatever youo can afford). It will take longer to get your degree, but at least you can start chipping away at it. It also never hurts to start a crowdfunding campaign and ask others to help you out.

  8. Monica says:

    Hi I live in Texas and my current gpa Is a 3.0 I want to go to California study fashion journalism ,but FASFA only gave me 11k for the year and tuition is 20k what should I do .I can’t come up with that money by myself please help

    • Tamara Krause says:

      You have a few options. One, start at a community college where your general education classes will be less expensive. Two, look into other schools, especially those in your home state, that have cheaper tuition rates, but still offer a fashion program. Three, start applying to every private scholarship that you can! The easiest way to find those that you are eligible for is to register for a free account at ScholarshipExperts.com. Set aside time each month and shoot for 5-10 scholarships to complete. Keep applying, even after you enroll in college. Finally, although it may be a long shot, check out crowdfunding and see if some strangers might be willing to help you fund your education. Check out my 5 Tips to a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign before you begin!

  9. Efren says:

    Hello Tamara,

    I’m studying full time a Masters Degree at Boston University, thanks to a scholarship that I obtained, last year. However, that organization is giving me a total amount of US $25,000 per year, an amount that covered Fall 2013, which I finished with a GPA of 3.23, and after one year, also will cover Fall 2014.

    But now, I really need a hand in order to pay Spring 2014, which has a total cost of US $22,290 because as an international student I cannot obtain benefits from the University, besides, my (F1 visa) does not let me work easily.

    What could I do?

    Thank you.

    • Tamara Krause says:

      Unfortunately, resources for international students are limited, especially when you are unable to work here in the States. You will probably need to secure a loan to help cover your remaining expenses. However, you may be able to find some scholarships or grants through IEFA, http://www.iefa.org/scholarships/SE/ or receive some help through a crowdfunding site, such as GoFundMe.com.

  10. Anna says:

    Hello Tamara I’m Anna and I’m 20 years old and in my second year of college as a medical student looking for help to pay tuition I’m currently unable to continue going to college due to funds please help as I have no one to turn to Thank you in advance for your advice

    • Tamara Krause says:

      Hopefully you have completed the FAFSA, as this will give your access to free federal aid, as well as scholarships and grants offered through colleges. In addition, be sure to register with ScholarshipExperts.com, as this will help you find scholarships specific to your needs. Next, check into potential loan forgiveness programs and other tuition assistance programs that may help pay for your college in exchange for your service. Don’t focus completely on medical scholarships, though. Apply for any that are for your year in school, writing contests (if you like to write poetry, short stories, etc.) and other potential awards that can help reduce your expenses.

  11. Heidi Essam says:

    Dear, Tamara

    I am currently studying at The university of Cambridge as graduate student, in architecture and urban studies. i have recently applied for several scholarships but i think as an international student my chances are like winning a lottery. I am applied for a phd already and i have a pretty good chance to get accepted. However, The money remains an issue. Do you have any ideas on how i can get enough money to at least cover the college and university fees. I think i can manage maintenance on my own, but not the tuition for sure. Funny thing is i am from Egypt, which is considered a third world country, and at the moment as everyone who watches the news can see it is politically unstable. which makes it impossible to get any government funds, although there aren’t any. yet i am still considered an international student who has to pay triple the fees of an EU or Home student, which i find illogical.anyways, Thanks for your time, and i appreciate any guidance or advice at this point.
    Thank you,
    Heidi

    • Tamara Krause says:

      International financial aid is not my area of expertise, but you may want to look at IEFA.org, http://www.iefa.org/scholarships, as you may be able to find some grants and/or scholarships through that tool. Another avenue may be contacting potential employers to see if they offer tuition assistance in exchange for future service. Studying outside of your home country is always an expensive endeavor, as most colleges/universities expect international students to pay their own way. Don’t forget to try crowdfunding, too. With a compelling story, you may be able to get some strangers to help you.

  12. cymon says:

    am a ghanaian and have to do the remainder of my undergraduate programme abroad. is there anyway i can get help for my tuition fees?

  13. fuchsia sawyer says:

    My name is Fuchsia Sawyer and I was recently a student at Full Sail University studying Music Business. I had to leave due to the lack of funding. I have been searching for scholarship and trying to get a loan but I do not have a cosigner. So I found out about this and decided to try it and see howmuch money can I get from donation to futher my education.

  14. Lisa says:

    Hi Tamara,

    I have a friend who is currently a sophomore who is in need of some financial assistant. Her mom is currently unemployed and diagnosed with stage 2 colon cancer while her dad is in the process of filing for bankruptcy. This individual is very hard working and need your assistance or your help in getting her story out there so others can hear and assist her. She only needs $5000 dollars to pay off the current school year depth in order to receive her transcript to send it to a community college in the area. There is no way she can come up with that money in such a time. The financial aid office at my institution is not willing to assist her in her time of need.

    • Tamara Krause says:

      First, please have her meet with her current college’s financial aid office and see if they may be able to work out a payment schedule with her. If that doesn’t work, I would encourage her to post her story on http://www.indiegogo.com/. It is one of the largest platforms and has a good success rate. Be sure to have her friends and family share the link to her campaign across social media and consider contacting her local TV and radio stations to share her story. Scholarships will not help her pay off a current debt, but she should still apply to ensure she has the funding once she starts at her new college.

  15. kimberley says:

    hi I am a high school student that will be graduating on 2015 I wanted to get a head start on getting financially help to help me pay for my university tuition.

  16. JJ says:

    Hello,

    I am a parent of a senior in H.S. who was accepted to Baylor and UT. As excited as I am for him his EFC came out to be 21k. Needless to say that we dont know how they got that figure but our son has been applying to all these scholarships but are still afraid of knowing the outcome of it. Can you recommend anything that can help us send our kid to college with out breaking the bank?

    • Tamara Krause says:

      Congratulations on your son’s accomplishments! First, take a look at the FAFSA again, as there may have been a typo or omission that caused the EFC to be larger than expected. If your son has already received his financial aid award offer from both colleges, and you know you cannot make up the difference, consider filing a financial aid appeal. It never hurts to ask for more money, especially if you can show that your family’s income will not remain the same as last year. Continue to encourage him to apply for scholarships, but be realistic in those expectations. Since the national acceptance deadline is May 1, he may not have enough time to earn enough to cover the gap. This means your son should be looking into other options for college, or should plan to take out federal and/or private loans to cover his expenses, should he decide to enroll at Baylor or UT. If he doesn’t want to be saddled with a lot of student loan debt, starting at a community college or less expensive college might be something to consider.

  17. Oarabile Mudongo says:

    Hello!!

    I am a 3rd year student pursuing Computer Science a major in Network Engineering. I am asking for help to study a short course (6 months) so that i can be a certified Network Engineer upon my graduation next year 2015. This certification helps me to be industrially prepared for any job in my filed of study. Do you have any ideas as to how i can find help for support of covering my tuition fees.

    Thanks!

    • Tamara Krause says:

      Hopefully, you have registered for a free account with ScholarshipExperts.com and started applying to scholarships. There are many for students in the computer science fields. Our monthly scholarships could also be used to help cover any expenses at a vocational school, college or university. You may also want to check with potential (or current) employers, as many will help meet the costs of certification programs if they are relevant to your employment.

  18. Hutch says:

    Help!
    I know nothing about applying for grants and scholarships. it is not for me, (I’m 55), its for my ex-girlfriends daughter. She’s in her 2 semester at CSN, of Nevada. I’m a school bus driver and I promised that I would help put her through college. Mom is a single mom and has 4 girls. …. and also, is a school bus driver. I was hoping for one on one help with someone, (live).. To show me the ins & outs … what to look for & look out for…. /;)
    “Teach me to fish, and I eat for a life time”…. /;)
    Thank you..
    Las Vegas, NV
    650-430-5041
    Hutch

    • Tamara Krause says:

      I think it is awesome that you want to help this young lady finance her college education. First, please encourage your girlfriend’s daughter to complete the FAFSA (fafsa.ed.gov) because she is probably eligible for some need-based grants and scholarships from the government and her college. Second, have her register for a free account with scholarshipexperts.com. Once she completes the profile (about 10 to 15 minutes), she’ll receive a list of scholarships that match her unique needs and skills. It’s important that she completes the work for the scholarships, as you cannot apply for her. You can help locate potential scholarships for her (check out our Twitter account @scholarshipguru or follow us on Facebook), but she actually needs to write the essays and apply for the awards. You may also want to read my Parent’s Guide to Helping Students Win Scholarships. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to email me at info@scholarshipexperts.com.

  19. Samantha says:

    Hello,

    I have been out of school for a year due to a $1000 balance I have from my previous school. I am unable to go to any other school due to my balance. I am independent without any help so it is hard to save the money. I really want to be back in school by the fall. What advice could you give me? Is there any resources out that could help my situation.

    • Tamara Krause says:

      Hi Samantha,

      In most cases you cannot use scholarships to pay off a previous debt. I would suggest contacting the college and arranging a payment schedule with them. Until you are out of default, it will be very difficult to receive any financial aid from the government or colleges, but you could start working on scholarships for future use. Many providers will give you 6 to 12 months (or longer) to use the funding. Until then, consider picking up some odd jobs to help pay back the debt sooner, or trying your luck with a crowdfunding campaign (check out GoFundMe.com).

  20. brook w says:

    I have a question I was in college last semester and I failed classes because of the became homeless and I finally have a place now stable place and they want me to pay for my two classes I failed and I want to know how would I get help paying for those.

    • Tamara Krause says:

      Please meet with a financial aid officer at your school and explain your situation. They may be able to work out a payment plan with you. Also, check with social services in your area (or churches that may help homeless teens/college students) as there may be some funding available to help you with these expenses.

  21. mario says:

    Hi im mario;
    Iam 23 years old and I graduated from everest college like six months ago and now i have start paying for it. But right now i can because of the fact that my dad got deported and my mom is unemployed and have brothers wchich rely on me. Because i am the only one that works and the job that i have does not pay me good so that i can payoff my 25,000 debt.. and on top of that i also have a 2,000 loan that i am paying off right now . What can i do.. is their any type of way for me to get some help to pay off my debt..

    • Tamara Krause says:

      If your loans are through the federal government, contact your loan servicer and ask about the various repayment plans. Depending on your income and financial situation, you could have your payments reduced. You may also qualify for deferment or forbearance. If you have private loans, your options may be limited, but it is best to contact them before you get behind on your payments. Unfortunately, there aren’t any scholarships available to help repay your student loan debt, so you’ll need to work with your loan servicers, or consider picking up an additional job to help cover your monthly payments.

  22. Doug says:

    My daughter was accepted at James Madison University, but the total yearly expense is about 22K a year, which is about 22k a year out of our price range. She has only qualified for a 2k work study program (If she can get it). She is a high achiever with a 4+ gpa, 5 AP courses completed,honors coerces, and graduating in the top 8% of her class. Broken hearted, she was going to attend a community college for 2 years and transfer to JMU until an anonyms giver gave $10,000 a year for 4 years to attend JMU (This is an amazing gift, all I can say is thank you!). This opened the door for her to attend JMU this fall, but we still have a shortage of funds. With a student loan we are now down to needing 7k a year. We are desperate for help and looking for all ways to fund the short fall. At this late date, what advise would you give.

    • Tamara Krause says:

      It’s never easy saying no to your child’s dream, but it might come down to it. If you are unable (or unwilling) to take out a Parent PLUS loan (or private loan) to cover the unmet portion of her college expenses, she’ll need to look at other schools that may offer her more financial aid. I would encourage her to start applying for scholarships and continue doing so until she finishes college. Unfortunately, there is no way to tell if she will be awarded any scholarships that are currently open, and she won’t be notified until after the college acceptance deadline. Starting at a community college will not only save her money now, but give her a chance to start saving for her junior/senior year at JMU. If she picks up a job and puts money aside every month and applies for scholarships (and wins some), she may be able to finish her degree without using student loans. I would encourage her to look into the Honors Program at the community college, as they often provide additional scholarships, too. She should also look into joining Phi Theta Kappa (after 1st semester) because they offer many transfer scholarships. Please talk to the school and ask if the anonymous donor would consider suspending the gift for two years. You never know, he/she may up the amount or put it aside for her to use when she transfers there later. It never hurts to ask.

  23. Angela Gerbracht says:

    Hi, I am a single mother (over 30) of two little girls. I have been attending a University for the last 3 quarters. I have an Internship this summer, plus 1 class. Totally 14 credits. I was only offered $2000 (loans sub/unsub) for this. I will have to come up with the rest of the tuition which is an additional 1700. I am disabled right now, and unable to work due to a spinal fusion surgery. Any suggestions?

    • Tamara Krause says:

      Hi Angela,

      Have you asked about work at your school? They may be able to provide you with a job that fits your limitations and hectic schedule. If you have a few months before the payment is due, I would start applying for as many scholarships as possible. Be sure to check out my post ‘Scholarships for Single Mothers‘ too. If your economic situation has changed since completing the FAFSA, you may also want to speak with the financial aid office and file an appeal, as you may be able to get some need-based grants or scholarships. Just be sure your school knows about your situation, as they may have other resources available to help you, or even offer you a payment plan for the outstanding balance.

  24. Connie Johnson says:

    Hello, Tamara,

    I am a 30-year-old mother and wife. I recently hit my Lifetime Pell Grant Limit. I am not working die to being laid off and would like to go back to school. I already have a lot of student loans and don’t want to add to them even more. I’ve been searching for scholarships and other resources to help me pay to further my education. Is there any advice you can give me? Thanks in advance for your time and advice.

    • Tamara Krause says:

      Hi Connie,

      There are many scholarships for women. I would look for those within your chosen degree field, as well as those that might use your skills and talents. If you like to write, hit up the scholarships that require larger essays, as many younger students shy away from these programs. I would also start picking up some part-time work (house sitting, babysitting, etc.) and start putting that aside for college expenses. Although you have exhausted your Pell Grant, there still may be need-based aid available through your college, so schedule a visit with the financial aid office and see what they may have to offer you. You might also consider taking just one or two classes (or how many you can afford w/o loans) instead of enrolling full time. It may take longer to complete your degree, but at least you won’t end up with additional student loan debt.

  25. Carly says:

    Hi,

    I need help with paying my school back. Last year during the summer I had to drop out of a class due to medical reasons and now I owe my school 420$. But it has went to collections and I am not sure how much I owe now. It is not a student loan. Due to medical reasons it is hard for me to find a job and I am really worried about this. I would like to go back to school so I can finish my degree but I need help with this. Please let me know what I can do. I live in Colorado if that helps.

    • Tamara Krause says:

      Hi Carly,

      You will need to contact the collection agency immediately and request an itemized statement showing your exact debt and any fees/collection charges that have been added to it. Be sure to let them know that you dropped out due to medical reasons and are not currently employed. You’ll probably need to provide documentation, so be sure you have that available and ready to send. They should discuss setting up a payment plan with you. If at all possible, borrow your outstanding balance from a friend or family member and pay the debt off. You might also try contacting your school’s billing office and seeing if they will take back the debt from the collection agency. It’s a long shot, but it doesn’t hurt to try. Anytime you experience a hardship or unexpected medical issue, you should immediately contact your school and work with them before it gets to this point. You might have been able to take an incomplete or at least been given academic probation, which may have stopped your account from being sent to collections.

      • Carly says:

        Hi,

        Thank you for replying. I did try to tell them that I had to leave due to a medical issue. They pretty much told me there is nothing I can do. I was going to try to do a student appeal but they said it won’t help. I do not have anyone that can help me at the moment. I will call them and tell them about my situation. Thank you again.

        • Tamara Krause says:

          If you had a medical issue that prevented you from staying in class, your school should have worked with you. You might consider taking your issue to someone higher up the chain of command, or stopping by the student counseling center to get their opinion.

  26. Daphnie Montecino says:

    Hi. Good day! My name is Daphnie Montecino. i am 18 years old. i live in philippines. I really need help. My parents can’t afford the expenses for this up comming school year. I’m going 3rd year college. Studying Business Administration at Ateneo de Zamboanga University. I hope you could help or recommend some scholarship for me. I really want to help my parents after i graduate because i always feel bad for being a free loader. hope you can read my post. Much Appreciated. Thank you.

  27. Macol Rodriguez says:

    Hi Tamara. My name is Marcol Rodriguez, I have a very good friend of mine who is going into her Junior year of college but has come to the unfortunate situation where she doesn’t have enough money to cover her tuition. She is willing to take out student loans but no one wants to be her co-signer. She is the first female in her family to attend college and is desperate to find a solution. Her family migrated from the Dominican Republic and her mother has found herself in a position where she can no longer work; she basically cares for herself and her mother. She has a 2.9 GPA at her current school and has incredible leadership experience, the amount of internships she has taken part in clearly showcase that. We met earlier in the Spring when we both became interns for the Teach For America Program in Memphis, TN. We are looking for any way possible for her to remain in school. What kind of advise can you offer?

    • Tamara Krause says:

      Hi Macol. Has she spoken with the financial aid office at her school? If there has been a change in family income, they may be able to offer her some additional need-based grants/scholarships for the upcoming term. She should also ask about work-study opportunities on campus. Hopefully, she has been applying for scholarships. If not, please have her create an account at ScholarshipExperts.com and encourage her to apply for any and all June/july scholarships that are available to her. I would also encourage her to work as much as possible over the summer to help pay her college expenses. Another potential resource is crowdfunding. It’s a longshot, but if she has a compelling story and really promotes herself across social media, she might find some strangers who are willing to help her out. If she still finds herself coming up short, she may want to look into moving to another college that is cheaper to attend or reducing her credit hours.

  28. Ngam says:

    I have a niece in Vietnam and he wants to come to America and attend college but he doesn’t have enough money. His father passed away so his mom can not pay for him to go to college. Who can I talk to and can help him out?

    • Tamara Krause says:

      The majority of American schools do not give scholarships to international students during their first year. Most require students to provide documentation that they have the financial means to cover all their expenses. For those that do offer aid, it is very competitive and given to the most elite students. I would suggest check out iefa.org. It lists scholarships for students in other countries who are seeking to study in the U.S. or a country other than their homeland.

  29. Mel says:

    I owe my college 8600 dollars, its been 5 years now I would like to transfer, and finish my degree but I don’t have the money to pay in full. Is there anyway to come up with this money with out being enrolled in school?

    • Tamara Krause says:

      Yes. You’ll need to get a job (or two) to help pay off your debt before you can transfer to another school. You current college can refuse to release your transcripts (which you’ll need to enroll in another school) until you pay your remaining balance. Unfortunately, scholarships cannot be used to satisfy your current student debt. The only other option may be to borrow the money from a relative to pay off our debt.

  30. sade says:

    I just recently graduated from high school two weeks ago and I got accepted into an university in FL when I got my financial aid back about two months ago it said I was expected to pay about 6,485 but recently I got 3000 more from an grant so it lowered my amount to 6235 only thing is I need to have the money by august 18th the time in which classes start I’m working one job but I know its not going to get me close working minimum wage but I’ve been applying to other places and jobs as well I have even tried looking into my schools tuition deferment plan but they say I still would need 3170.50 by July 17th my family is not in a good financial situation to help so is there any help you can give me or advice.

    Thanks

    • Tamara Krause says:

      At this point, you’ll probably need to take out a student loan to cover the remainder of your expenses. I would continue to apply for scholarships, as you’ll be in the same boat next semester. If you are unable to secure a loan (in case you already have federal student loans), you may need to consider starting your studies at a community college. You could work and save money for the first two years, and then transfer your junior year.

  31. DeeDee says:

    I was wondering if you could tell me some places to post my URL for GoFundMe to get viewers? I am going to be attending a school in Dallas this year, but I need scholarships or grants or donations. I am a married college student looking for assistance. Do you know any particular scholarships for married people?

    • Tamara Krause says:

      Post your link to as many social media platforms as possible. Send an email to all your friends and family asking them to share the link, as well. If you have a unique story, you might even try contacting your local paper, radio, or TV station to see if any of them will share your story and link. I haven’t come across any scholarships specifically for married students, but I encourage you to create a free account with ScholarshipExperts.com and see what scholarships might be open to you. You would be surprised at how many are available based on your interests, skills, and hobbies.

  32. Tammy St says:

    Hi Tamara,

    I’m in a rather unfortunate situation. I am 51-years-old and in college for the first time in my life. I have been accepted into the nursing program at a community college (with a 4.00 GPA) but the problem is how to manage nursing school and work. I’ve been told by the head of nursing, other students, and other nurses it’s impossible to work full-time and do nursing school.

    I do not have any outside help. I have two children in college (their father is helping them with this) and am divorced. No family where I live. I had to file chapter 13 bankruptcy almost 2 years ago and my house is in foreclosure. It will be auctioned off at the end of July so I have until the end of August to vacate.

    My education is being paid for by the state but I need money to supplement my income when I drop down to a part-time job. Unfortunately, my poor credit does not allow me to borrow the amount I need to do this. My father might co-sign a loan for me but he’s concerned that at his age (he’s 72) it won’t help. (He’s on retirement but he does own his own home.)

    I am so close to changing my life for the better. I don’t want to give up but I don’t know what else I can do.

    I have signed up and applied for scholarships. I missed out on a lot of the nursing scholarships because the school doesn’t announce nursing candidates until mid-June.

    I appreciate any suggestions you might have. Thank you.

    • Tamara Krause says:

      Nothing is impossible, if you really want to make it happen. Although it is difficult holding a full-time job and attending nursing school, there are ways to make it work. Since you don’t have any small children at home and will need to move soon, consider downsizing your life as much as possible. Rent a room instead of taking on an apartment, or consider moving in with friends for the duration. Place yourself on a strict budget and look for jobs that are flexible, as your schedule is bound to change from semester to semester. You can even pick up odd jobs, such as babysitting pets or children. Sell anything you don’t absolutely need and use the proceeds for living expenses. Check with the college and see if they have any work-study opportunities available, too. If you must take out a loan, look into federal loans, as these have better interest rates and more favorable repayment terms. You would be eligible for them regardless of your credit, as long as you completed the FAFSA and your other aid has not exceeded your cost of attendance. Finally, keep applying to scholarships every month until you finish your nursing program.

      • Virginia Holland-Davis says:

        Tmara, I don’t think you helped Tammy St at all. In fact, your recommendations were dark and depressing. You actually suggested to Tammy to put herself into a more devastating downturn when she is moving herself and her family upwards. You are not listening to your writers coming to you for advice. There are other ways, and more positive and optimistic realistic alternatives. I am so disappointed in your responses, Tamara. I have worked in higher education, and am a graduate mentor and coach encouraging non-traditional students encouragement and inspiration to continue in their journey. I don’t do that by telling them to exchange their dreams with an impoverished life change. When people are on their way up, don’t ask them to step down. Statistically, people who do this never get back up as they just give up from the emotional downturn. There are other alternatives and other ways of making suggestions to students. This is exactly why I cannot support sights like yours. It makes students feel worse and feel like they have to work harder than necessary in a manner that is may not have a good outcome going forward. I am looking at this from a counseling and psychological point of view (MS/Psy and in Psy D program) and I am not liking the advice. Please think things through and consider the emotional toll your advice may have.

        • Tamara Krause says:

          Hi Virginia. If you have any constructive advice to offer Tammy St, please feel free to share it. I don’t believe that asking someone to ‘downsize’ their life is bad advice. I know many students who have given up nearly every comfort while in college because they realize it is a temporary situation. Sometimes, we must take a step back before we can spring forward.

  33. Omer says:

    I’m Omer.
    And this is my situation
    First of all , I’m an international students I was born and lived in Saudi but I’m from Sudan actually .
    I just got graduated from high school month ago
    And as any other guy in this world I have a dream to study medicine in USA and it’s time to make that dream comes true
    But unfortunately to make that dream true I have one thing I couldn’t get yet
    Which is money
    I have money but it’s not really enough to pay my college tuition and expenses to be Honest I’m just lost and I don’t know what to do knowing that my home country doesn’t offer scholarships to study in USA
    I got graduated from high school with a CGPA of 98.19 I’m not trying to flattering myself but I worked hard to get that and I’m ready to work even harder to make my dream comes true which is studying medicine in USA and becoming a doctor
    I know studying medicine is a long way to take but I don’t mind to study 8 years or even more I’m mentally ready to do that
    One thing prevent me to reach chat which is money and affording college tuitions and expenses for 8 years or more
    I hope I may find any help in this website and thanks :)

    • Tamara Krause says:

      Hi, Omer. Unfortunately, our service is only available to U.S. students at this time. I encourage you to visit iefa.org, as it may have some resources to help you find funding for study abroad.

  34. Virginia Holland-Davis says:

    Hi Tamara. I just read your article on “Strangers paying for college…” You started out well but you only listed two such crowd funding sources, and there are so many more. You were not fair in your assessment as you did not talk about the positives in considering this type of funding. Then you gave your personal opinion which is indicative of how out of touch you are with what is happening in the real world. There are so many similar options that are very successful and is more successful than trying to find “free money” or scholarships. Those avenues are more of a devastating outcome than your assumed assessment of crowdfunding. You did a real disservice by adding your opinion, and it’s just that anyway. Doing it “the old-fashioned way…” nobody has time for that, especially busy people, assertive people, adventurous people, risk-taking people, positive and optimistic people, and people who are technological acute. Do not discourage anyone from trying something new just because you are a doubting Thomas. Please. Keep an open mind and keep hope alive.

  35. mary says:

    please i need a sponsor to study abroad just 12months programm. there is no way my parents can afford the bill .they are poor village farmers in nigeria. if one can sponsor me on graduation i will work for the person till i pay up or even studying and working for the person i dont mind

  36. Delores Kiser says:

    Hi Tamara, I have a daughter who is trying to finish Law school, she is in her last semester and financial services has cut her off, I am a single parent only making 20,000 a year and taking care of my granddaughter, my daughter is afraid they will kick her out if I don’t find funding for her, is their any help out their for us?

    • Tamara Krause says:

      I’m assuming she has exhausted her federal aid and this is why she has not received any assistance for the final semester. If she needs the funding immediately, you may have to see if she can qualify for a private loan (and you may have to cosign), or have her ask the financial aid office if it’s possible to set up a payment plan to cover her tuition and fees. She could also try her luck with crowdfunding. Another option may be for her to approach a law firm and ask them to cover her remaining semester in exchange for work, either during college or after she graduates.

  37. Joseph says:

    Hello, is it possible to apply for scholarships outside of the U.S.? In other words, receiving funding from other countries for academic purposes.

    Thanks!

  38. Patience Carter says:

    I am only $6,700 short this year, but my parents cant qualify for anymore loans, and we cant come up with the money what to do?

    • Tamara Krause says:

      Hi, Patience. If you need the remaining funds in the next few weeks, your options may be limited. I would speak with you college’s financial aid office and see if they’ll set up a payment plan or if you are eligible for work-study opportunities. Pick up an extra job until you return to classes, sell anything you may not need (video games, movies, clothes, etc.), ask your relatives and friends to donate $20 or more each, hold a car wash or another type of fundraiser. If you still can’t meet the total required to attend, you may need to consider taking fewer classes or looking into a school that may be cheaper to attend.

  39. Charles Roberts says:

    I have an outstanding balance in my college tuition so I had to drop out. I’m 19 and I have no parents and have no one to use as a cosigner for a loan. I want to go back to college soon. Is there a way I can get rid of this tuition bill so I can go back as soon as possible

    • Tamara Krause says:

      I encourage you to work with the college to set up a payment plan. Until your balance is paid in full, they can refuse to release your transcripts which will make it nearly impossible to enroll anywhere else. You may also be denied additional financial aid if you go into default. Start applying for scholarships and work as much as you can to quickly repay your outstanding balance. Be sure you file the FAFSA and consider starting at a community college, as this will help keep your expenses to a minimum. If both of your parents are deceased and your income is low, you could qualify for a Pell Grant and other need-based financial aid to help cover most, if not all, your expenses at the community college level.

  40. Chenille says:

    My last semester in college was 2009 I had 2 classes left which were only offered in the summer there was no option for financial aid I was able to take 1 class but my loan fell through and I ended up being 1 class(3 credits) shy from my bachelors degree. I have yet to finish that 1 class. What can you suggest for me as far as paying what is owed and also funding the final class. I cannot afford to pay anything out of pocket due to my financial hardship.

    • Tamara Krause says:

      Are you in default? If not, you should complete the FAFSA and see if you still have any remaining eligibility for financial aid. Your school may also be able to provide a grant to help you, so be sure to stop by and speak with someone from the financial aid office. You should also start looking for scholarships to help cover your final semester. As far as paying back your student debt, I would look into the various repayment options (federal loans) and consider picking up another job, if possible. The sooner you can pay it off, the less interest you will pay over the life of the loans. Don’t forget to try your luck with crowdfunding, too.

  41. Heather Walker says:

    Hi,

    I have a friend who is parapoligic. She wants to attend college, but she’s on a fixed income. With ssi an ssdi. She doesnt have the funds right now, but wants to start the 18th of this month. She cant use finincial aide due to default. What else or where else can she go or do? Thanks in advance

    • Tamara Krause says:

      She needs to contact her student loan servicer and ask about student loan rehabilitation (federal) or set up a payment plan to catch up on her past due payments. As long as she is in default, it will be difficult for her to enroll in any college or obtain financial aid. She can, however, start applying for scholarships. Another avenue may be to try crowdfunding to help payback her current loans or cover future college expenses.

  42. Dr Jerry Garrett says:

    I very much want to finish a second doctorate in Clinical Psychology. I currently teach at a university that will pay for about half of my classes. I need help funding the test. I am diabetic, and just cannot work as a school principal or elementary teacher any more. I am also a former foster child with absolutely no backing. I am interested in teenage suicide, and want to want to work with teens and adolescents to curb this terrible trend on our society. I would appreciate you contacting me if you can help me push ahead with my second PhD

    • Tamara Krause says:

      Hi, Dr. Garrett. Since you already hold a PhD, scholarships may be difficult to secure. Most providers offer assistance to those seeking their first degree. I encourage you to speak with your intended college and see if there may be some opportunities for you to teach on class in return for a stipend or even a tuition waiver. You may also be able to locate some funding through professional membership groups or organizations that deal with teenage suicide. Typically, scholarships offered to foster children are reserved for those under 25 or those pursuing their first undergraduate degree, but it doesn’t hurt to contact the state education department where you lived as a foster child. You never know, the department may be able to direct you to some other funding sources for post-graduate work. Don’t forget to apply for our monthly scholarships, as they can be used for any degree program.

  43. De'Ante Scott says:

    Hello, I am a senior commencing my final semester in college. I have been granted loans and grants, however, it is still not enough to cover my entire balance. This was unexpected and last inure assuredly, and I don’t really know where to turn. I am from South Carolina and pursuing a bachelors in Business Administration with a concentration in International Business.

    • Tamara Krause says:

      If you will need the funds in the next few weeks, you’ll need to get creative. Try crowdfunding, or asking your friends and relatives to lend a hand. You could also reach out to potential employers and ask that they provide a scholarship in exchange for your services. Be sure to check with your financial aid office again and see if they may have any additional funding to assist you. If push comes to shove, you may have to find a cosigner and take out a private student loan to cover your remaining balance.

  44. Shawanda Petty says:

    Hello, I am a senior and pursuing a B.A. in Organizational Leadership (Criminal Justice).I am seeking funding for three remaining classes for me to graduate December, 2014. I have maxed out my Financial Aid and Grants. Can you assist me in the right direction? I have searched the websites for scholarships and grants and have been unsuccessful. Are there any grants for African American women?

  45. Michelle says:

    I’m currently a nursing student who is continually having to pay out of pocket for tuition. I am 31 years old, no dependents and made enough money in the previous year to be considered “not in need”. Which is actually FAR from the truth. My husband and I are going into serious financial debt because I do not qualify for any grants or financial aid/support. I have to take out student loans and even those do not give me enough coverage. This quarter is almost $2,000 and I am having to pay nearly half of it out of pocket (via credit cards). I have searched and searched but I just can’t seem to find something that will help me out. Any ideas? I need help!!

  46. Hazel says:

    Hello

    I recently got a 50% Scholarship to study in Cyprus though i am African .Was wondering if you could help with more information on Organisations that help sponsor education as i would really would like to go and would not like such an opportunity to pass me by.

    Regards

  47. Susan Bradford says:

    We live in Loveland Ohio. My daughter has exhausted all undergraduate grants and scholarship opportunities until she finishes her RN in six months, after which she continues into her BSN. Which, as i understand it, is still undergrad.

    We started a gofundme page, but have only received $550 to date. Basically, I send the info to as many people as I can.

    What else can i do to help her reach her goal and remain in school? She recently received a NEALP award, but that does not apply to this semester and i have already reduced the overall amount which accounts for that award.

    • Tamara Krause says:

      Hi Susan. The wonderful thing about scholarships is that it’s impossible for your daughter to exhaust all her opportunities. New awards are offered every month, so she needs to keep applying to anything and everything she can find. If she hasn’t done so already, please have her register for a free account with ScholarshipExperts.com. There are many scholarships for nursing programs, but also many more that can be used for any degree program. Your daughter may also want to consider looking into the Nurse Corps Scholarship Program, which provides financial assistance in exchange for service after graduation. Many nursing organizations also provide scholarships to student members.

  48. nermeen says:

    hey, i’m international student and i’m looking for a scholarships to contiue my study my mom is a single mom she works hard for us but she can’t pay for my university i’m at my second year of faculty of physical therapy and i wanna help to contiue.

  49. Tiffany says:

    I don’t know what to do I previously went to a private college it was way to high so i transferred to a much cheaper school I got accepted into the school and did a semester then i found out I needed an updated transcript. I called my old college I owe them 8,000 before I can get my transcript I cant afford to pay that and my mom defiantly can’t what should I do?

    • Tamara Krause says:

      Hi Tiffany. You will need to make payment arrangements with your previous college, as they can refuse to send your transcript until the debt is paid. Ask friends and relatives to help pay it off, pick up a part-time job, and try your luck with crowdfunding. Your prvious college may send your transcripts after a certain number of payments have been made. In the meantime, you’ll need to explain to your current college the situation and hope that they will work with you since you have already completed a semester.

  50. Deana says:

    Hello,

    I’m 35 year old single mom working a full time job while attending college full time. In September 2015 I am told that my funds will run out and I am not sure what to do. I have been searching and searching for help to finish out my last 5 classes for the fall of next year. I am completely at a loss as my adviser is not helping. I am unable to apply for a graduate loan as I have already tried that. I am struggling financially so I am unable to spread myself any thinner than I currently do. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    • Tamara Krause says:

      I would start applying for as many private scholarships as possible. You may also want to look into peer-to-peer lending. If you still come up short, you may have to take one or two classes at a time (or how many you can afford), which I know is not ideal, but at least you are still working toward your degree. You may also want to check with your employer to see if there may be some financial assistance available through your company.

  51. Montant Billings says:

    Hello, i am a senior in high school and i am trying to get scholarships or grants to help me pay for college the problem is that my school only helps with in state which is CA i want to go to out of sate so if you have any Opinions on where to look or if you know anyone wants to help me.
    thank you

    • Tamara Krause says:

      Be sure to register for an account at http://www.scholarshipexperts.com. It will help you locate scholarships that you can use at out-of-state colleges, as well as those that are in state. You should also review the financial aid pages of every college you are considering, as many list scholarships for study at their school, as well as other outside resources.

  52. Carol Coleman says:

    Hi. I am in a uniques situation. When my daughter went to college. As a freshman in 2011 I was unaware that she was suffering from an Eating Didorder. The eating disorder took over her life. Ultimately, my daughter finished a couple of semesters but had a total breakdown and had to leave MSU and enter a private treatment center inpatient and subsequently another outpatient treatment center. With all that being said, I have now spent most of her college funds trying to save her life. At this time, my daughter re entered MSU and am doing well at the moment. As well as using her college funds, I am now on a medical leave due to an injury and surgery. I would like to know if their are any organizations that would be willing to help a student that has a mental disorder such as ED. Really trying hard to figure this out. If yo know of anyone that could help please pass their info onto me and I will address and them directly. Tough times call for for desperate measures. Thank you so much. Carol Coleman.

    • Tamara Krause says:

      Most of the scholarships provided through organizations that deal with eating disorders are for treatment and not educational use, but I would still contact Project HEAL and the Manna Fund to see if they can assist or offer some help locating financial resources for ongoing treatment, living expenses or other needs.

  53. indradev says:

    I am in a sort of mental distress. I am planning to go back to my country but the problem is that I owe money to the university. Is it possible to leave USA right now? What are the consequences if I leave USA right now?

    • Tamara Krause says:

      You’ll need to speak with the university to determine the consequences of withdrawing from school. If you are having a medical issue (mental or physical), they may be able to help you and place your debt on hold. If you simply leave and don’t pay what you owe, you’ll more than likely ruin any chances of returning to the school or another American college. Set up a payment plan or find out what other options may be available to you.

  54. Diana says:

    I just got accepted into an accelerated nursing program and I need help paying for it. I have no more federal loans and scholarships are taking too long. I need help making the first payment! I am about to lose my seat and no one can help me. I have reached out to anyone who will listen (Board of Education, Nevada’s Nursing Association, Congressman Joe Heck,Congressman Titus, local hospitals, financial aid office, the list goes on). There are no programs for second degree nursing students other than taking out a private loan. I am not working, so I get denied for private student loans. I need help fast. Is there anyone out there who can help!!!!

  55. Brittany says:

    I’m trying to transfer to another college but I can’t get my transcript from my previous college because I still have a balance there. I need to make a payment so I can get my transcript but I can’t afford what they’re asking for. I have tried calling both of the colleges but neither of them are helping me. I really want to go to this college. Is there anything you can do to help me?

    • Tamara Krause says:

      Unfortunately, you will need to satisfy your debt with your previous college before your transcripts will be released. Start paying as much as you can to them every paycheck (or pick up a temp job over the holidays) and see if they will be willing to set up a payment plan once you reach a certain threshold.

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