College Students Resort to Cyber-Begging to Pay for College, Trying to Avoid Credit Card Debt

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College Students Resort to Cyber-Begging to Pay for College, Trying to Avoid Credit Card Debt

Woodland, CA/September 21, 2003– Paying for college has never been easy, but these days it can seem nearly impossible. Many students don’t qualify for financial aid, and when they do–it’s often too little, too late.  

When a student does qualify for financial aid, he or she often does not receive any money until well into the quarter or semester. But, the student is expected to somehow buy textbooks, pay tuition and attend full-time while waiting weeks or even months to get their first dime of financial aid, including student loan money.  

And when the financial aid finally does come, it is often barely enough to pay for tuition and books, yet the student is expected to take on a full load of credits to keep his or her financial aid. Colleges and the government impose maximum limits on grants and loans, but this maximum is not nearly enough.

A full time student is normally expected to take at least 12 units. Twelve units requires 12 hours in the classroom each week. To get C’s, a student is expected to study at least two hours for every one hour in class. So, just to get a C average, a student will have to spend at least 36 hours each week on his or her studies. To get A’s or B’s, many more hours of studying are necessary.  

So, when is this student supposed to work so he or she can pay the rent and buy food? Unfortunately, in order to get their education, students often end up resorting to credit cards.

Recently, students began trying something new in order to be able to get that college degree without resorting to credit cards–asking for help on a new “sophisticated cyber-begging” website, which aims to connect individual students with individual sponsors.  

The site,, was created by Karen Kelly, a “starving” first-year law school student who, ironically, used her credit card to get the site up and running.  

“I was getting pretty desperate and was thinking about creating one of those begging websites. But, I didn’t want to be lumped in with sites like guys who ask for money to buy beer with. I wanted something more sophisticated, and I really believed that there were people out there who would be willing to help a hard-working student. I was still feeling too selfish, though, and then one night a thought popped into my head–make the site available for all students who are struggling just like me.”

Students are only asked to donate $1 to create their ad, to help keep the site running. Student ads then remain active until the student graduates or pays off education-related debts.  

Students are allowed to place PayPal donation buttons in their ads, where sponsors can choose to donate as little as $1 to help the student with his or her education. Sponsors are allowed to browse the student ads for free. All sponsor donations go directly to the student, with no fees charged by Starving Student Scholarships (although donations are always welcome).  

How do sponsors know the ads are really starving students? On the Tips for Sponsor page, Ms. Kelly advises potential sponsors to donate to students who have college email addresses, or to students the sponsor knows personally.   

Sponsors can search the student ads by logging on to Ads can be searched by student name, school, city, state and even country.### Contact: Karen KellyPO Box 8133Woodland, CA 95776530-406-1324 (home)(I screen my calls, so please identify yourself.)[email protected]