Student Debt Alternatives

In case you hadn’t heard, there is a student debt crisis. It might seem like everything today is a crisis, but I assure that we’re really looking at some staggering numbers. Here are some fun facts:

-Since 1978, college tuition has skyrocketed by over 900%.
-In 2010, student debt actually eclipsed credit card debt as the second largest consumer debt in the country (second only to mortgage debt, surpassing $1 trillion in total).
-Since 1999, student debt has increased by 511%.

People are offering solutions in a variety of forms, including legislation and alternative education opportunities, but FiPath is also offering a new crowdfunding opportunity to those who want to envisage how to pay for their child’s future tuition. FiPath allows visitors to calculate costs and then solicit donations for the child’s future. It’s actually pretty simple:

-Parents visit the site and register (name, kid’s name, email address, password)
-Parents then input their child’s age and an aspirational or actual institution and submit. FiPath shares the projected savings goals necessary to get a kid through school.
-Parents can then share this information on a live dashboard with friends and family who can help meet yearly goals through email or posting a link. The message reads something like this “Jessica Day has taken the critical step of joining College Registry to help save for Child’s Name college education. Won’t you help solve this problem by supporting his/her college savings?”
-Friends and family make donations through PayPal that sends that money directly into a college savings fund.

If you start early, sharing the request for funds on a semi-annual basis, real visible savings can make a significant difference. It’s like an ongoing, personally-impactful crowdfunding campaign. Not a bad idea and it will be interesting to see how FiPath compensates for inflation and rising tuition rates as time goes on.

What do you think about the student debt crisis? How can a broad network of people hope to solve this problem on the individual as well as the organizational level?

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