Ever wanted to learn to paint, or do a Polar Plunge? What if your personal goal could help a college student pay for his or her education? Aha! Well now, the University of California (UC) has come up with a pretty unique way of raising money for their low-income students through a personal promise program that results in creating scholarships.
Backstory: UC is facing major financial-aid and scholarship scarcity as deep budget cuts are leading to a serious tightening of the belt when it comes to university spending. Interestingly, UC enrolls more low-income students than any other top-flight University in the country. Unfortunately, a lot of them are watching the financial help they need to graduate deplete with higher tuition and other cost-cutting measures due to serious funding changes over the past five years.
Searching for a way to support current and future students, the university has launched a scholarship based on crowd-funding and social media to meet a goal. Here’s how it works:
1. Make a promise (become a vegetarian for six months, do 100 hours of community service, etc).
2. Set a crowd-funding goal (maybe $1,000? $5,000? whatever you pick).
3. Share your promise (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
4. Receive Contributions.
5. Help fund UC scholarship.
The six-week social media initiative was launched last week under the title Promise for Education and has already raised nearly $850,000 for scholarships for UC students. Anyone can participate, California Gov. Jerry Brown has already got in on the action, and the promises can be anything from embarrassing circumstances to positive life changes in order to meet the contribution goals.
We’re all for this, specifically because we like the idea of helping other through embarrassing ourselves or personally growing for the better.
What would your personal promise be? If you do this, please let us know how it goes on Sparkler Posts!