Archive for March, 2010

Non traditional ways to pay for college

Saturday, March 13th, 2010

mariela-in-cnn-newsroom

    I was recently interviewed on CNN’s Newsroom about paying for college and I decided to tackle this issue from a different angle. Instead of talking about loans and scholarships, as I often do, I talked about students conducting their own fund raising efforts (via raffles, concerts, parties, email writing campaigns) and exploring micro lending.

    The idea is to encourage the Millennial generation that is so technologically savvy and so adept at social-networking to think about paying for college from a different perspective.

    At our Latinos in College initiative we’d like to start a conversation about what you are doing to pay for school other than taking out a loan or getting a job. We’d like for you to share with the world ideas that might help students become empowered when it comes to paying for college.

    Here are a few more ideas for all of us who are interested in this issue to consider:

  • Start thinking about micro-lending to fund individual student loans
  • Engage college alumni in micro-donating to students at their Alma maters. A group of Harvard grads has started a company to lend money to Harvard students and are looking to expand soon.
  • Support websites like Lily’s List that function as wedding registries where students can list their loan and provide it to their family and friends to help them repay it
  • Open 529 plans for young children and provide the number to friends and relatives so that they can deposit money over the years in lieu of expensive gifts. (Here’s a question for you: wouldn’t it be better for your daughter to have a good education paid for, rather than a huge Quinceañera or Sweet Sixteenth birthday party?)

    I’m looking forward to hearing what you are doing that is working. This is just the beginning of a larger conversation!