Debt University

When the president says “making college more affordable” he really means making college loans more accessible. Unless, the president nationalizes all colleges and universities he can’t really make college affordable. Even state colleges are working in a tight budget that they routinely increase tuition costs and prefer out of state students because foreign students have better profit margins and tend to protest less than local students. In addition to tuition, college is made more expensive with the price of college edition textbooks. The textbook industry is run by an oligarchy of publishers that love to price their books as much as the class itself, it is common for books to be priced over $100 each. The textbook industry colludes with faculty so that each semester there is a new revision of a title and the course material and problem sets only works with a specific revision of the textbook. To add insult to injury of high price of education, there are few high paying jobs.

Micro-lending and Fund Raising

Microcredit is not a new idea, Muhammad Yunus has innovated on the principles of giving people a small loan for them to start their own small business since the mid 1970’s. But with the advent and success of movements such as Open Source, Creative Commons, and Social Networks people have formed a perfect storm conditions in the microfinance industry. Here is a short list of key microfinace websites that have a unique spin on helping individuals and organizations to raise the funds they need to achieve their goals.

  • Profounder – Raise capital for a business or startup while building a community.
  • Kickstarter – Used by creative types to raise money to fund art projects and new businesses.
  • Crowdrise – Celebrity backed charity fund raising platform.
  • Kiva – One of the first socially motivated micro-lending sites.