Let's face it: we're stuck with the monetary economy and profit is its driving motive. This infects the lives of everyone, even those whose sole aim economically is to survive.
We are not stuck, however, with the debt economy. The college is doing what it can to keep costs way down, but students will have to come up with some means of paying for courses. Aside from the accommodations of the college teachers, and aside from paying work, we would like to initiate a conversation about how you can turn to your existing community or communities for support. It needs to be your communities (of whatever degree of coherence), because the bonds already exist on which to rely. This form of crowd-sourcing is much older than Kickstarter and their ilk.
There are many kinds of communities in which financial support is provided to individuals therein to undertake education or service work and to be freed
- churches support missionaries
- small towns (especially those with declining populations) cover medical school costs in exchange for a period of service to the town by the physician
- public radio and television stations, activist websites, and others hold annual fund-raisers in order to cover their costs
- school groups, charities, and cancer patients hold fund-raisers, often of the marathon variety, but also of the house party variety.
Given that you will have to direct most of your wage income to living expenses, and given that the college will not be making use of federal or state loan programs, we encourage you to identify your communities and approach them to provide some means of support for your education at this college. Your community might be the group of activists or artists to which you belong. It might be friends from high school, or activity groups, or your neighborhood or small town. It might be your nuclear or extended family or a religious group that you belong to. It could be Facebook acquaintances, or other online groups.
Raising the funds may be easy for you or difficult. It will at least require that you have a vision for your education and be able to express it clearly and convincingly. It will also entail some creativity in asking for support. Perhaps you will hold a small fundraising event once or even annually or more frequently. Perhaps you'll send out a letter. Perhaps you'll apply to a charitable or service organization, or make an appeal on your website, or seek donations from your town's businesses, or reach out to the activist group that you belong to that is scattered over the land. Ask your friends to organize a yard sale or a concert. Contract with your community to give them some years or months of service in exchange for educational funding. Use crowd-sourcing.
In-kind donations — especially housing or food — can be of real value as well. If you could find a spare room somewhere within your (Boston-based) community, you could then direct your income toward course fees.
Your best tool in all this is creativity, a wild thinking, but also persistence. Good luck.