One mom from Michigan, Lori Truex, decided to get really creative when it came time to figure out how to pay her daughter’s tuition. Truex wanted to do anything she could to send her daughter to college debt-free. In an effort to get her daughter through college without debt, Lori decided to turn to her community for support.
For a while, Lori has been standing on the street of Battle Creek, Michigan, holding a sign that reads “Help Send a 4.0 Kid to College.” Lori’s campaign “One Mom One Year” began out of “desperation” and “frustration” to pay for her daughter, Kendall Truex’s tuition.
Lori told ABC News, “Parents need to be talking about this. It’s a dirty little secret they don’t want to admit to themselves, their coworkers and neighbors–some of us can’t afford to send our kids to college.” Truex continued, “You either make too much for financial assistance or you don’t make enough to actually afford to pay for them. We’re truly the middle class. We’re stuck in the middle.”
Lori’s daughter, 20-year-old Kendall plans to transfer from Kellogg Community College to Michigan State University next year. Kendall and her mom are still left with a bill of $24,000 a year even after already receiving a Pell Grant of $1,770 and an MSU student aid grant for $3,600. When Lori realized how much money she was left to pay, she decided to start a GoFundMe page to help raise money for Kendall’s tuition.
Kendall told ABC News that she was completely surprised by her mother’s decision to create the campaign. She said, “It’s not in character for my mom. For her being out there like this is a really big step for her and I appreciate her doing that for me.”
Kendall’s family faces a problem that many other families are struggling with when it comes to paying college tuition. She shared, “My parents make much too much to be considered poor and need the help, but they don’t make enough where they can fork out the cash for me to go to college. It’s this systematic cycle that if you want to reach for the upper class and get out of the middle, you have to get a college education. But then, you have to go into debt and there’s no way around it. There needs to be a way to break this cycle.”
Lori has definitely been met with some criticism since she began her campaign. The mom of three told ABC, “A lot of people have been saying, ‘You have a high GPA, you can [get] scholarships. They don’t just hand scholarships out. There are thousands upon thousands of kids competing for these scholarships. There’s just not that much financial aid out there. Believe me…I’ve tried.”
Truex is trying to do her best to provide a college education for her daughter. She added, “I’m just a mom and you will do anything you can for your kids. There’s got to be somebody out there that has a solution for this problem. This upsets millions of families, not just mine.”