Whether you're a supportive parent, an eager high school grad or an adult looking to return to school, the reality of higher education is gloomy. Tuition keeps climbing, the job market isn't improving fast enough and the mountain of student loan debt passed the $1 trillion mile marker and kept on trucking with enthusiasm.
Successful entrepreneur and owner of NBA team the Dallas Mavericks Mark Cuban blogged a great question, "We freak out about the trillions of dollars in debt our country faces. What about the trillion dollar plus debt college kids are facing?"
Student debt is a growing problem for more than 37 million Americans. People are falling behind on student loans at a worse level than before. Now, long-term delinquency rates for student loans are higher than delinquency rates for car loans, mortgages and home equity.
These dismal statistics aren't surprising, considering a recent labor analysis by the Associated Press indicating that over half the adults below 25 with a bachelor's degree are under-employed or can't find a job at all.
"Although the situation is growing worse, the federal government hasn't been able to find a real solution to the student loan crisis," says Amy Mintz, founder of Student Body of America Association (SBAA). SBAA is a nonprofit organization that offers information, support and viable solutions to the student debt crisis and escalating costs of higher education through several programs including movie production and disbursement of funds for U.S. students.
SBAA is the fiscal sponsor of CrowdFundEDU — a new and potentially integral piece in the student debt puzzle. CrowdFundEDU is a social fundraising platform with tangible results and real-world applications.
"CrowdFundEDU is basically KickStarter for education," explains Mintz. "People hold an online fundraiser for any education-related goal. That includes tuition, student loans, seminars, equipment, study-abroad programs, activities, you name it."
Much like KickStarter, CrowdFundEDU relies on social networks to stir interest and urge supporters to donate to a good cause. People can make direct contributions to fundraisers or a general donation to SBAA, which is tax-deductible and allocated to student and school fundraisers. As with other online fundraisers, seeing strangers and acquaintances alike rally to help someone is inspiring. Get a glimpse of the CrowdFundEDU mentality at www.projectpayitforward.org, SBAA's documentary film currently in pre-production.
CrowdFundEDU can be used for all levels of education, including grades K-12 up to a Ph.D. plus trade school degrees and certifications. But, given the heightened interest in the skyrocketing costs of education, the platform sparked special interest in its potential to alleviate the student debt problem. To learn more about the unsustainable student loan system mired in higher education, visit www.thefallenamericandream.com.
See how crowdfunding could help student loans at www.crowdfundedu.com. Or, find them at www.facebook.com/crowdfundedu and www.twitter.com/crowdfundedu.