BELLEVUE, Wash. -- Just as students are preparing to pay for their first semester of college, a woman from Bellevue has created a website that works to make things a bit easier. She is taking on a new approach to crowd-funding to give students another option to help offset their pricey investment.
Most freshman from Washington state will pay $27,000 for their first year at the University of Washington. It’s no secret the hefty college price tag has some students turning to social media campaigns and crowd funding sites for help. But for the mom of a college student in Bellevue, something was missing.
“There are so many kids here ... that don’t get help, and so that’s why I thought why not," said site founder Kate Boswell.
Boswell manages www.TakesAVillage.com. The website allows students to create profiles and explains why they need the money. A student is then required to privately submit his or her student identification number and the name of their university to direct money straight to a university in a particular student's name.
People feel more willing to give if they know the money is going straight to a university for a particular student instead of going toward pizza and beers, according to Boswell.
Boswell thought of the idea while struggling to pay for her daughter’s education. She was offered help from a neighbor who wanted an easy way to get money directly to her daughter's university. Boswell is originally from Uganda, where she says the act of an entire village helping fund someone's education is part of the culture.
“A single mom can’t do it," explained Boswell. "They think they can, and then they start and ... it is too overwhelming."
While the website might offer a big convenience for people who want to give, there is a four percent service fee for that convenience of directing donations straight to universities.
Students commonly use GoFundMe.com as tuition fundraising option. That money goes directly to the student, rather than a university. Visit TakesAVillage.com for more information.