This Girl Is Crowd-Funding Her Grad School Tuition (And It’s Actually Working)

Emily-Rose Eastop, a 26-year-old from London, is crowd-funding the expenses of her master’s degree program. The scientist with a talent for singing and dancing graduated in 2010 with a degree in Human Sciences, and was shocked when she was turned down for over 200 jobs (though it’s worth considering that she only applied for work through notoriously useless online job-hunting platforms). She’s spent the past fours years relying on the support of her mother and boyfriend to live and tutoring biology to make some cash here and there.

Eastop has been accepted to a graduate program at the University of Oxford in cognitive and evolutionary anthropology, but she’s hesitant to take out the loans she’d need to finance it because she already has £20,000 of undergraduate debt. Her crowd-funding page on Hubbub has already amassed over 200 backers and raised over £14,000. Easton runs a popular anti-pseudoscience Facebook page that has attracted the attention of successful scientists, many of whom were happy to contribute to her campaign. In return for contributions, funders will receive access to a private blog that she’ll use to discuss the things she learns in class, as if they’re going to school with her. Donors who contribute £500 or more will receive a professionally bound and signed copy of Easton’s award-winning dissertation. The deadline for her campaign is August 1, which is the day she’s required to accept Oxford’s offer and intends to pay her tuition upfront.

Not surprisingly, some people are less than pleased about the venture, and one commenter even called her a “posh brat.” In her video, Easton says, “I think I entered the job market at the worst time because of the recession … I have been really open and put my heart on my sleeve. Some people may react negatively but people who actually get you will be very generous.” I understand she’s being vulnerable and is trying to get creative to solve her problems, but I can’t help but be bugged by this. Her (our) generation did enter the job market at a terrible time with record amounts of debt, and it’s terribly unfair, but it’s a burden the majority of young people are carrying right now. This plan certainly wouldn’t work if we all just collectively hopped onto Kickstarter and started asking for money to pay off our debt. Is grad school really a path to a great job for her or is it just a way to hide from all that debt a little longer? I would say it’s not our place to judge, but when you ask others to fund your life, it’s a fair question to ask. From the looks of things, Easton will be heading to Oxford this fall, so I guess she made the right move for herself. [Daily Mail UK]

[Image via Shutterstock]