In my 16 years in education, I know one thing to be true. Getting to college is tough, but getting through college and doing it alone is even tougher.

The cost of college has gone up more than 179% over the last 20 years. That means that if I went to Baylor in 1996 (I did) and it cost me $8,070 for tuition (just tuition, nothing else); it should have nearly doubled! Yet 2016 tuition is actually $34,480! (And the all-in cost of attendance at Baylor is now $54,000.)

I know, that’s a lot of exclamation points. You get it, college students need help paying their college bills. And that is essentially how edfurther came to be.

edfurther.org is a non-profit crowdfunding site for college scholarships. The mission is simple–to ensure that financial need is never a barrier for furthering an education. Donations are safe and tax deductible.

Every kid has a story—a past, a present, and a future. And you can read up on the edfurther scholars here. These are incredible young people, handpicked for their work ethic and commitment. There is one whose story will resonate with you. Just pick one. Help one. If you don’t know which one, make a general donation, and I’ll help direct it for you.

But this is about the edfurther story. I am 40 years old (well, 41). I still owe on my college loans. I worked hard to scrape by in college and have the debt (and degrees) to prove it. My career in education has been to increase opportunities for low-income students.

Four years ago, I saw a tweet (yes, on Twitter) from a Spring Branch and Genesys Works alum who needed $252 in three days to stay enrolled for his senior year. He didn’t know who to call. We got it fixed, but the situation stuck with me. From James’ story, edfurther was born.

And here we are, I set up edfurther and launched a pilot. edfurther.org is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a secure site that will process credit cards through PayPal or Stripe (I even take checks) for college scholarships for students who need us. Now after two semesters and 24 students, we have raised a little over $12,000! Fees are not passed on to students, so 100% of your donation goes to pay their college bill (checks are written to the universities).

Will you prove that this work matters? Prove that we believe in them. Every gift matters and adds up to a bigger scholarship to keep a scholar on track.

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  • Melissa

    I had to leave college as a Sophmore (Baylor) when my family faced financial challenges. I know how ‘the dream’ and ‘the reality’ often don’t align. Loved reading this…this time of the year…knowing personally how important this work is. Very proud of you! While I did finish my degree…in time…having lived it…I know just having options can make all the difference. Thank you for shining a light for our kids!

    January 2, 2017 at 11:31 pm Reply