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Student Online Fundraising Effort Saves North Texas College

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FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) – A lack of funding at one North Texas college meant possibly shuttering the doors, but a group of students were able to raise enough money to keep their school open.

The College of Saints John Fisher & Thomas More in Fort Worth was on the verge of financial collapse until the students got involved.

“It was really scary for all the students,” said freshman Amber Siscoe. “We decided we wanted to see if we could do something to try to keep the school going.”

Students turned to crowdfunding, which is a trendy new way to raise money online. They started a webpage on GoFundMe.com with a goal of raising $250,000.

College president Michael King admitted, “Unbeknownst to us they started this initiative.” While Fisher More administrators had no idea the fundraising effort had started – they certainly know how it ended. “They saved the school, literally,” King said.

The small Catholic liberal arts college recently changed locations so it could expand and serve more students.

The school only charges $5,000 a semester — for everything. The college didn’t want to raise tuition and quickly started falling behind on bills.

“Despite good efforts and a lot of encouragement and support we feel short on our fundraising goals for the first semester,” King explained. “It put the second semester in jeopardy.”

While the college had many private donations lined up to help keep it open that money fell through and that’s when the students got involved.

Students have now raised close to $300,000. For Siscoe and others it means a future. The college freshman now says she prays doors on the campus will stay open permanently. “For me this is one of the only places I can go to college. We [students] are just hoping that we keep it going.”

While the initial goal has been met, students say they will continue with the fundraising efforts to help the college with the costs for next year.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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