By David Reynaldo (Director of College Zoom)Regardless of whether a student qualifies for financial aid, the best way to cut college costs is to find individuals who are willing to make tax deductible donations to a university and have each donation credited toward a particular student’s tuition.
Donations can come from anyone. Students should ask their employer, family friends, relatives, etc. to fund a private scholarship for their benefit. The scholarship will be a tax write off for the donor because colleges are 501(c)3 organizations.
For example, when one of my classmates got his acceptance letter from the University of Southern California, in his senior year of high school, he asked the university for a list of alumni in his area. His request was granted and because he wanted to study business, he contacted every successful business person named on the list. He scheduled informational interviews with each one of them to learn why they felt that attending USC was instrumental to their success. Then, at the end of the informational interviews, he’d inform the alumni that he wanted to attend USC for the same reasons, but he couldn’t afford the tuition. Several alumni offered to help and collectively paid 100% of the tuition for his entire four years of college. Not only did my friend attend a top private university for free, but he gained several close mentors who met with him regularly and helped him become one of the most success-driven students in my graduating class.
David Reynaldo is the director of College Zoom, an award-winning college counseling service that helps students increase their admissions success with a money-back guarantee.