Every student wants to get through college without collecting a huge amount of debt and are beginning to crowdfund and rely on sites such as Hubbub, GoFundMe, and Indiegogo to beg online bankers to help donate to their cause.
Is it an act of justified financial desperation or shameless e-begging?
Some students find that they are not eligible for government loans, scholarships etc. are limited so, they might find no other way to gather the money.
A 24-year-old student, Ellie Burch, is one of the many students who have turned to the online community for assistance. After being unable to secure any other financial help Burch created a campaign on Hubbub with a quest to raise £20,000.
Ellie says, “There is a fine line between begging for money and genuinely asking people for help when you need it most. I worry what people will think of me – especially those who don’t know me personally”.
What makes her different from any other penniless student trying to get them through uni?
She has led her pledge to donate some of the proceeds of her campaign to charity. “What separates my plea from others is that I am not solely basing my fundraising mission around my own gain. I have made a promise to donate a percentage to the Fountain Centre (a cancer charity) which I have been associated with in recent years both professionally and personally.”
Is it really a viable option? Nick Hillman, the director of the Higher Education Policy Institute, points out, crowdfunding is far from being viable for most. He calls it “an ingenious but insecure way to fund education”.
“If individual students can make it work, that’s fantastic. But it is almost certainly those who seem a little out of the ordinary – perhaps in what they want to study or their background – who stand to gain the most,” he says.
Andy Westwood, professor of politics and policy at the University of Winchester, says the hard work doesn’t necessarily stop once the fundraising target is reached. Successful crowdfunders next need to deliver on all the promises made during their campaigns. “The hardest part is presenting an idea or an ‘investment’ that has appeal, and then managing multiple relationships when you are actually studying.”
What do you guys think?
Is it a good and successful way to raise money for college or university fees?