The class of 2015 had the largest student loan debt in history and while some students may side hustle to cover their tuition bill, one student has opted to skip the grind and instead, hustle the streets to help pay for her college education.
Star student Emily Stutz wasn't offered the necessary financial aid to attend college, even after she appealed to all of the eight schools to which she was accepted. Her parents, who earn a combined $155,000 as special education teachers, aren't able to "come up with $20,000-$30,000 a year," according to Stutz. So she created a GoFundMe account and panhandled outside a local Target over the weekend, holding a sign that read "H.S. Senior. No $ for College. Anything helps." So far, Stutz has raised over $24,000 via her GoFundMe page, which would cover one year's tuition at a private college - so she considered staying home and going to the University of Massachusetts which costs only $13,500 a year.
While she had many sympathizers, some drivers told her to get a job. Though she has a 4.0 GPA, works two jobs, has been accepted to all eight to which she applied, she claims, "even the smaller cost [of attending college] was unattainable." Most importantly, Stutz wanted to relay her message on the issue of student loan debt and college unaffordability, stating "It's such a big issue with the presidential election...people take out these huge loans and have to pay back like a mortgage on their education."
Merit scholarships at private institutions aren't enough to lessen the burden of the tuition price tag, according to Stutz. While we were unable to discover to which schools Miss Lutz applied, perhaps a community college would be an affordable option. The money she has raised via GoFundMe so far would likely pay for all or most of her undergraduate studies if she spent the first two years at one of the dozens of community colleges in Massachusetts, most of which are around $4,000 per year. There are also ample opportunities out there for students who take the time to search and apply for scholarships. Many high school students start searching for scholarships when they are a sophomore or junior in high school, which is a great idea as well, rather than relying on the colleges to which you apply for all of your financial aid. Applying for more than one scholarship also increases your chances of earning more money towards your college education. Just read the Success Stories of some of our users and see how they made their post-secondary education affordable and occasionally even free.
In your opinion, do you think panhandling for college funds is the best option? Would you do it? What other options would you consider pursuing? Leave us your thoughtful comments below.
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