A new report by FOX 5 News reveals a staggering amount of Howard students with a GoFundMe account to cover tuition costs.
The story follows Jaleen Bondieumaitre, a sophomore at Howard University, and his story of online fundraising for college.
He told the news outlet that his goal is to raise $10,980.74 and that he’s taken out the maximum amount of loans he can as a Pell Grant student.
According to U.S. News & World Report, Howard’s tuition is $31,050.
“Compared with the national average cost of tuition of $41,568, Howard University is cheaper,” the site said.
Bondieumaitre and many others have turned to the online fundraising website GoFundMe to pay for what loans, financial aid, and scholarships don’t cover.
He says he got the idea from Howard alumni. “While the alumni did tell me they would donate money and help me raise money I know that I can’t all rely on them,” Jaleen said. “I need to actually work towards it myself.”
Bondieumaitre is certainly a hard worker as he had two jobs over winter break and a paid internship with the U.S. House of Representatives during his freshman year. This year he will be working at D.C.’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency.
He has raised $4,631 so far and says he doesn’t know anyone who has donated to his GoFundMe personally. “I don’t know how to express how thankful I am because I don’t know any one of these people, and they are still willing to donate their hard-earned money,” he said.
Upon searching GoFundMe, you can see many other fundraisers like Bondieumaitre’s. FOX 5 News says “a simple search of GoFundMe shows more than 200 Howard students are using the website to raise money to pay tuition bills.”
According to the news source, this school year Howard’s tuition went up by more than 7%. The school cites inflation and rising costs as part of the reason.