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Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Using Your College Debt to Save the World
I write so much about getting into college that it's sometimes easy to forget there's life after admission. Clearly, getting your foot in the university door wouldn't matter so much if the main course wasn't so delicious, right? College is fun. College is, um, important, if you want a professional degree or a job. It's formative, memorable-maybe even life-altering.
It's also expensive.
This means, I also write a good deal about scholarships, and a little about financial aid (which, let's face it-is pretty dry prose). So let's tackle a good story about college and money, shall we?
Enter SponsorChange.org. Basically, this non-profit helps match ambitious, debt-ridden graduates with charity organizations in need of quality volunteers. Then they add the missing piece: donors. Rather than giving money directly to the charities, the donors help pay down the college or graduate school debts of the volunteers.
Students also have the ability to get crafty with the fundraising, using a crowd-sourcing model to invite people to donate to their charity of choice. This part is genius. Asking someone outright for cash to help pay down your loans? Not likely to work. Asking someone to donate to a charity in which you planned to invest some time and energy? That's got a better ring. The end result is the same.
The charity organizations benefit from an educated, motivated volunteer force. The volunteers enjoy the obvious benefit of loan-paydown, but also get a shot at leadership and work experience. This can be particularly vital for new college graduates looking to flesh out a resume.
So while graduation may seem miles away for the class of 2018, it's never too soon to plan ahead.
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