Crowdfunding has risen to popularity in the past few years with numerous efforts and projects raising millions in aid of different causes and issues.
Although you wouldn’t think it, crowdfunding your degree is an option that is out there and attainable by many, in fact, it has also grown increasingly popular with the ease of access to many of these apps and websites like GoFundMe.
What is Crowdfunding?
For those who aren’t too familiar, crowdfunding is simply relying on the generosity of others to donate or support a cause, whether it be financial support or something as simple as giving you advice and guidance.
In this case, the ‘others’ mentioned above could be your family, friends, relatives, academics, corporates, sponsors or even strangers who want to support you and your endeavours – in this case, your degree.
To support the exponential costs of your degree you can set up a crowdfunding page on GoFundMe or a similar site, which you would then promote to the public through social media and the web, in the hope that generous people will donate to your cause and contribute towards your financial goal.
Who is the ideal candidate?
Technically anyone can apply to crowdfund their degree, however, whether you will be successful at it is a different question entirely.
Obviously, crowdfunding would be ideal for some students while it wouldn’t make sense for others; one such instance would be if you have access to a tuition fee loan from student finance. But that doesn’t mean you can’t give it a go. Every little helps, as they say.
What you might want to consider is that donations through crowdfunding may not always be ‘free money’, contributors may expect a return on their investment, and that investment would be your degree.
And of course, morally, you must make sure that the money that is being donated through the kindness of others is being handled accordingly and that you are holding up your end of the bargain – that means actually going to uni, not having one big party.
However, it appears that crowdfunding is a popular choice for postgraduate and Master students who aren’t eligible for student loans or finance, as these students can be more specific on where they would want to focus their studies and present it in a clear and concise manner through an online campaign.
International students often use crowdfunding too, as they face much higher tuition fees than local students almost always unless they are eligible for grants or scholarships that are awarded through their respective universities. However, these options are always overly competitive, and therefore crowdfunding would be a better option for them to showcase their talents and hidden potential.
How to use GoFundMe
Top Tips for Crowdfunding your Degree
- Start A Blog: A blog is written or audio-visual form is one of the best ways to showcase your skill and potential. A blog will allow strangers to connect with you by understanding what drives and motivates you, what your interests are and what your future goals may be. It also is a great way to demonstrate your commitment to a particular cause and how serious you are about it.
- Keep It Professional: One of the best ways to kick start your crowdfunding is to approach people you already know and present your case to them in a professional manner. No matter how close you are to them, they could be family or friends, keep it professional, and they will appreciate you for it.
- Be Realistic: You should always reach for the stars without a doubt! But when it comes to depending on the generosity of others, make sure you are realistic in your requests. Don’t set your goals at unreachable standards, for example, don’t start your crowdfunding page by asking for 10,000 GBP from the get-go.
- Promote, Promote, Promote: At the end of the day, this is a marketing campaign in which you are the product. And by ‘sell yourself’ we don’t mean it in the literal sense, but you do need to promote yourself, your achievements, your future ambitions, your passions and your humility.
- Keep In Touch: Your sponsors obviously contributed to your cause they saw something in you and believed in your goals. Therefore, make sure to keep them updated on how you are getting on and notify them of your achievements be it a major milestone or even a top grade you were awarded for an exam or assignment.
Ultimately, it is all down to you. Once you set up that GoFundMe, the power is in your hands. Making people pay is one thing, but they have to know about your page first. So spread the word on your socials, ask parents and friends to share it too. Regularly update people on where you are in your funding journey, as you may find people are more inclined to pay towards your goal if others have.
Crowdfunding could be just the option for you, and you will be pleasantly surprised by the sheer amount of good and positivity in this ever-growing bleak world that we live in today.
Therefore, take this opportunity to share in that positive energy by contributing back to the community in the same way that your community-supported you in your time of need.
What to do if this isn’t an option for you?
You can still afford university without crowdfunding, of course. You can apply for student finance through the SFE website, and your university may also grant bursaries and loans to students in lower-income environments. To find out more, check out our advice pieces on student finance topics. We can help you figure out how much student loan you may get, debunk the myths around student finance, and explain how anyone can afford uni! We also have some tips on saving money, so that you don’t spend your whole maintenance loan on Domino’s in Fresher’s Week.