STORRS- The cost of a college education is difficult for many families to grapple with. Not many students can do it on their own.
But, Xavier Cole, a sophomore at the University of Connecticut has had no choice, until his friends stepped in to help.
“November 1st. It’s going to get paid. It's going to get paid.”
Xavier was just weeks away from picking his classes for his spring semester of his sophomore year at the University of Connecticut.
But, instead of thinking about classes, he worried about the $8,000 tuition bill he had to pay before the November 1 deadline.
After many visits to the financial aid office Xavier quickly learned his only option was to get a personal loan to cover the $8,000. But, he did not have a cosigner.
“I was an independent student with a very brief credit history,” says Xavier. “I couldn’t prove to a credit bureau that I have enough credit to get it so that was that.”
Xavier dad died of an illness while serving overseas when Xavier was just five years old.
When he was nine, his mom was deported back to Portugal.
One year after that, she died.
His oldest brother adopted Xavier and his brother at 21.
“Since that we just have been defying odds every day and it’s been awesome,” says Xavier. “I really took it and used it as motivation. Definitely, that’s where I went with it.”
Xavier's hard work ethic earned him a 3.77 GPA in high school and a 3.65 GPA as a UConn freshman. But with no options left, his education was in jeopardy.
“I mentioned like why don’t you just make a go fund me,” says Ryann McNamara, who is also a sophomore at UConn, and one of Xavier’s closest friends. “...he agreed to the idea. We made it together and it kind of took off from there.”
“It was made. We got $20 in like five minutes and I was like alright I just got $20, that helps,” says Xavier.
Then, the fundraiser took off. An outpouring of support helped him raise the $8,000 he needed and more through the online campaign in just ONE day.
“The whole day hit and we were over half and that was just amazing,” says Xavier.
By 6 o’clock Saturday night he had $8,000.
“I’m beyond thankful and when I graduate and I’m established, I’m definitely going to give back to the communities that gave back to me,” says Xavier.
With the $8,000, Xavier is able to apply to transfer within the University to the School of Business at UConn to study real estate. He still has four semesters to go and just applied to be an RA to help pay his room and board. With his job and financial aid, he says he hopes to have enough money for the rest of school.
To help him with the rest of his college expenses, you can donate here.