Four Quirky Options for Funding Your College Education

College expenses can seem daunting, mostly because they are. There are, however, steps that you can take that will at least help minimize the financial strain on yourself and your family. The best advice is to cast a wide-ranging net in order to identify any and all resources to help fund your college education. Here are four suggested approaches to help with tackling the ever-growing college tuition expenses.


  1. Consider Education Funding platforms: Yes! These exist… and no I am not talking Kickstarter. Kickstarter has made it abundantly clear that those funds are not to be used for education. There are, however, sites that use a similar model to fund educational endeavors.
  • Angeldorm is an education funding platform. This site helps student’s raise money for their education expenses through tapping their social network. The campaign lasts for 45 days and costs the student nothing upfront (although Angeldorm deducts $2.75 on each donation).
  • You Caring is an online tuition fundraising web page. In less than 5 minutes you can create an online fundraising page and start receiving donations soon after.
  1. Consider a tuition-free school. What’s the catch you ask? No it’s not your first born. At least I don’t think it is. But, you may need to have a decent academic history and will likely have to work while you attend classes. The minimum GPA will vary based on school and so will the hours that the student will have to work per week.
  • Tuition-free colleges include Cooper Union in New York, N.Y.; Webb Institute in Glen Cove, N.Y.; Berea College in Berea, Ky.; College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Mo.; and Alice Lloyd College in Pippa Passes, Ky.
  • Do a few search engine inquiries to see if you can more schools in your area.
  1. Exhaust all financial aid, scholarship and grant options. Don’t just rely on one approach — try all and go H.A.M. (Yup – I said H.A.M.) with each.
  • Apply for financial aid even if you think the chances of getting aid are slim. Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Options for grants include Pell Grants, Academic Competitiveness Grants, and National SMART Grants.
  • Apply for school issued scholarships even if you think your chances for receiving them are laughable.
  • Apply to as many local scholarships as possible, such as those funded by civic organizations, religious institutions, community-based awards, contests, and even scholarship lotteries.
  • I mean ALL! Consider your Race? Gender? Economic Status? Sexual Orientation? Learning Disabilities? Are you left-handed? Are you active in church? Are you a specific religion? Literary contests? The list goes on!


  1. Identify a good guidance counselor. A good guidance counselor can help you find other opportunities to make your college dreams a reality!
  • If the guidance counselor you’ve been assigned isn’t putting in sufficient effort to help you, find a mentor or someone else who will.

Tiffany Brunson About Tiffany Brunson

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