College debt can be crushing. On top of the regular debt, there is money needed for textbooks, for clothing and food, and for transportation. As the debt mounts up, students are looking for more creative ways to help offset their debts. And, it’s happening on line.
Some online sites are capitalizing on how a few individual student borrowers have recently used socials networks like Facebook and Twitter to fashion an email that goes viral. Their email asked for micro donations to help them through college. Donations will vary from a few cents to thousands of dollars. Of course, you have to have a story and you have to connect with people emotionally, but if you can do that, people are willing to give small sums of money to help. If there are enough people out there giving, that money mounts up to help students with their debts.
Now, of course, it is getting harder as it’s already been done and there is more and more competition, but sites like IndieGoGo are offering space on their website for students to put out their pleas. It is suggested that students offer something in exchange for help, something sentimental like a piece of their cap and gown or more practical like free legal advice from a graduating attorney.
With the idea of exchange, other sites are now putting students in direct contact with volunteer organizations. These organizations collect local donations and match willing students to community service hours in exchange for money that can be used for debt, even to go directly to the principal of their loans. The money for each hour of service ranges from $15 to $20. Charity work includes transportation for the elderly, activity projects for senior centers, and in-house care for home-bound people. Sites include SponsorChange.org, CharityforDebt, and ChipIn.
Now sites are expanding to make connections between students and professionals. Students will be able to do internships for money to relieve their debt. Either working for volunteer organizations or for professionals also allows students to hone their skills and pad their resumes while making money to ease their college cost burdens.