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College Corner - Heads Up, GoFundMe

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Heads Up! GoFundMe opened in May 2010 and has a special section for raising money for college tuition. Did I say “Heads Up!”? Cautions to take before you ask for or give to crowd funding sites for college tuition:

If you have been following the successes, failures, or merits of using GoFundMe or similar crowd funding sites for raising money for tuition, books, campus visits, etc., you will see the average amount of money raised has risen significantly over just the last three years. ”So far this year, about 130,000 educational GoFundMe accounts have been created, raising a total of more than $20 million. By comparison, the 140,000 accounts opened in 2014 raised $17.5 million - and that was an increase of 280 percent from the year before. If you have a great story, it would appear you can raise part of your college costs. Friends, extended family, and strangers can make contributions.

However, beware in asking that you “find out about any costs involved. The NFCC's (National Foundation for Credit Counseling) Bruce McClary points out that some services charge a percentage of the amount raised, and may also pass along fees for processing donations made by credit card.” Gofundme automatically takes 8% of each donation.

Beware in giving to be sure your recipient is genuine. “Don't assume the website has vetted the person or the information they provided…With millions of campaigns, there's no way to check the details of each one, so we always ask that potential donors only give to people they personally know and trust, said GoFundMe's Kelsea Little.”

Source: http://www.cnbc.com/2015/08/31/crowdfunding-college-more-students-depend-on-kindness-of-strangers.html

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