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Jan 10, 2017 11:22 PM EST

Crowdfunding catapulted to popularity for providing an easier way for entrepreneurs to get funding for their projects. Universities and colleges have joined in the initiative, too, and students should maximize this.

USA Today College reported that staff and students at higher education institutions in the United States may still be unaware of crowdfunding platforms hosted by these universities and colleges. It not only focuses on entrepreneurial projects but for raising money for student organizations as well.

Project manager of UFUND, American University's new crowdfunding platform, Ann Royce said that a lot of universities have joined the trend. She added that a lot of students and faculty are making "really great projects."

The publication noted that it is good for students to maximize these crowdfunding platforms. After all, it is created for them.

These platforms allow alumni to donate to projects developed by current students. It is favored by younger alumni since the platform shows where their money is headed and also provides updates on the project. Royce deemed it as a "more attractive alternative to traditional annual funds."

Crowdsourcing platforms in universities and colleges are considered nonprofit. This makes donations tax-free which increases the value of the money being donated.

A post on LinkedIn SlideShare featured 20 best higher education crowdfunding programs. Arizona State University launched the PitchFunder last 2013 so that students can raise funds for their organizations as well as passion projects.

Carnegle Mellon University created the CMU Crowdfunding. The school will reportedly be expanding the program to include faculty-run projects.

Cornell University began with seven projects in 2013, which were eventually fully-funded and even exceeded the expectations of its creators. Other schools such as Lehigh University, Middlebury College, Pennsylvania State University, Pepperdine University, Temple University, University of Connecticut, University of Maryland, University of Mississippi and University of California Berkeley, Los Angeles, and San Francisco have also developed their crowdfunding platforms for their students and faculty.

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