college tuition

The surprising new way students are paying for college


Social fundraising is enabling many students to meet their tuition goals in order to attend college.

In the face of rising college costs comes a somewhat surprising funding trend: students are increasingly turning to GoFundMe, a social fundraising platform that allows anyone to contribute to funding campaigns on the site.

“In 2016-17, average published tuition and fee prices for in-state students at public four-year institutions range from $5,060 in Wyoming and $6,360 in Florida to $15,450 in Vermont and $15,650 in New Hampshire,” according to College Board data cited in a new college funding guidebook from GoFundMe. Those costs increase for out-of-state students.

Since 2014, more than 130,000 GoFundMes have raised $60 million from over 850,000 donations for college tuition and related campaigns.

Among the top states where students raise college funds on GoFundMe are California, with 15,338 campaigns raising $8.3 million; Texas, with 10,152 campaigns raising $4.6 million; and New York, with 6,844 campaigns raising $4.2 million.

(Next page: Standout college tuition GoFundMe pages; additional financial pressures)

Laura Ascione