We're proud to offer such a low tuition rate (that even includes housing) for students - but we understand that it's not easy for everyone! We've had a large percentage of students fundraise their tuition over the years. If you or your parents can't pay tuition out-of-pocket, you still have options! Every situation is a little different, so make sure to apply these ideas appropriately in your own contexts. Here are a few we've seen work well for students over the years.

Ask your church

In many cases, churches are willing to give students money to help with their tuition and expenses at a ministry training school like Thrive. Your church or denomination may already have a scholarship fund set up that you don't know about! Set up a meeting with your pastor or a ministry leader, and tell them what led you to apply to Thrive School. What dreams has God been stirring in your heart? How are you hoping to impact the world for Christ after graduating? We've even seen churches, worship teams, or small groups collect special offerings to help students come to Thrive.

Use A Fundraising Site

This is a really common way to help offset tuition costs, by leaning on the community of people God's placed around you - like extended family members, neighbors, or individuals at your church. Just last year, a student raised more than he needed using GoFundMe - in less than a week! This approach can work really well, if you're willing to hustle and tell your story to as many people as it takes. Connecting the dream God's given you - that you're pursing at Thrive School - with such a tangible action people can take to help you can be very effective. Be willing to see your goal fulfilled $25 at a time.

Work AND SAVE Over The Summer

This may sound obvious, but you'd be surprised how many people don't think of this as a way to help pay for their education at Thrive School. Picking up a part time job, or just adding extra shifts if you're already working, can add up fast - especially if you're living at home, and don't have to worry about paying rent while you save money.

An Example Student

Let's look at an example of a Thrive School student (we made up) paying for their tuition from multiple sources. They used all the methods above, including a GoFundMe link they sent to extended family and family friends. Because they filled out their FAFSA early and qualified for a Pell grant, their online classes and books are covered, so we only have to think about Thrive School tuition. By June 1, they had raised:

  • Parents: $2500
  • Personal Savings: $750
  • Gift From Their Church: $900
  • GoFundMe: $1850
  • TOTAL: $6000

By combining all these sources, this student raised $500 more than they needed to pay off tuition. They've got enough to pay the one-time payment online (so they don't have to worry about it - this is definitely the best way), and can hang on to $500 for other expenses.

For "other expenses" that come up in everyday life, we generally recommend a minimum of $200 / month (for gas and coffee, really). Your host family will provide basic groceries, but if you eat out, you'll cover that yourself. August through May is nine months - so that brings the total to $1800 in other expenses. Since this example student raised $500 more than they needed, that's $1300 to go.

In our example, it's June 1 - so that leaves about 10 weeks until they'll move into their host home. This student has a good job making $10 / hour. If they pick up a couple 5 hour shifts each week, that's $1000. Only $300 to go - with a few more calls to people who haven't contributed, or maybe a going-away party with a "gas money" jar, they can easily knock that out.

This is just an example, but hopefully it helps show that paying for tuition upfront is a totally attainable goal, even without thousands of dollars on hand. Pray, look for opportunities, and hustle - and you'll be so glad that you don't have to worry about money while at Thrive School.