The student loan crisis is a serious issue in this country, especially for the many Millennials struggling to make monthly student loan payments. It is currently estimated that 70 percent of all Americans graduating with bachelor’s degrees will leave college with a burden of debt on their shoulders. Left with the prospect of making student loan payments for years after they finish their degrees, many students are looking for new avenues to fund their education that does not require federal student loans.
One North Carolina high school student is taking to the internet to raise funds for his college education through crowdfunding. A local CBS affiliate in North Carolina reported that Michael Farrington, a native of Guatemala, has been working tirelessly on a social media campaign to secure the funds needed to attend a summer college program at Harvard University.
For many students dreaming of getting accepted to Harvard University, it is a wish they may never see fulfilled. As of 2014, an applicant to Harvard only has a 5.9 percent chance of actually getting accepted to the Ivy League school. In Michael Farrington’s case, however, Harvard emailed him directly, asking him apply to a secondary school program put on by the university for several weeks during the summer. “Harvard sent us an email just inviting me to apply. And I applied and by God’s grace I got in,” Farrington told reporters.
Though he is only sixteen, Farrington will be earning college credit during his seven-week stay on Harvard’s pristine campus. His coursework will include classes like macroeconomics and the American Presidency. However, as excited as Farrington is to have been given this opportunity, the cost of this program will be $11,550, a tough payment to manage at sixteen years old. Though Farrington has submitted a scholarship application, he has decided to create a GOFUNDME page in the meantime. “That is the main way that we will be able to send Michael to Harvard. We don’t really have the capacity to send him at this stage,” said Farrington’s mother, Tracy Plant.
Michael Farrington is not alone in his quest to raise the money for his education through GOFUNDME. In 2014 alone, the site was able to raise over $13 million dollars for education-related campaigns. Currently, there are 100,000 other students trying to raise the money for their education through GOFUNDME pages.
Though Farrington still has a long way to go, he has been able to raise about $1,225 in the past few weeks. With just two months left until the total sum is due, Michael Farrington and his family are hoping to hear back from Harvard about the possibility of an academic scholarship.
“Some of them have left me a note of encouragement. Some have said they really like what I’m trying to do, what my goals are,” Farrington said of those who have donated to his campaign. He went on to say, “I really want my future to be at an Ivy League college and then perhaps get into politics and get a degree in law.”