In just three days, 18-year-old Emily Stutz has raised more than $16,000 on a GoFundMe. She hopes to reach $30,000 soon so she can make a decision about where she’s going to college in the fall — and whether or not she’ll be able to afford to go.
Stutz has a near-perfect GPA and received scholarships at each college she was accepted at but not nearly enough to cover the cost of tuition for a full year. She gave up on her dreams of attending a private college to study pre-med and has focused on raising money to go to state school: “My parents have had immense financial struggles and simply cannot come up with $20,000-$30,000 a year, nor are they able to cosign a loan for me,” Stutz explained. “I am at a loss. I see my dream of becoming a doctor slip further and further away as the days pass by so I’ve decided I am going to do whatever it will take to get myself to college.”
In a “social experiment,” Stutz also decided to “panhandle” outside a Lowell, Massachusetts, Target. “If people will give to the ‘homeless’ panhandlers then maybe they will consider sparing a dollar or some change to an aspiring doctor who has all the academic, but no financial means to attend college,” she wrote before standing outside for a full day. In an update to her page, she wrote the day was “extremely successful” and that she’d be back at it again the following day.
You can donate to Emily’s college campaign here.