College students find creative ways to pay for school

Charleston, SC (WBTV) - If you look at the GoFundMe page for Alexander Jared Pang-Riddle, you get a bit of an international history lesson.

The GoFundMe page states:

"I have the honor of being the first Montagnard cadet at the Citadel. My people are the original settlers of Vietnam, with approximately seven hundred thousand left alive in the world. My grandfather was the most highly decorated Montagnard soldier in the NhaTrang Mike Force and single handedly saved many American soldiers by pretending to be a NVA soldier and taking them down one by one until he could reach the Americans."

Pang-Riddle just finished his second year at The Citadel, his dream school.  He knew it wouldn't be easy.  He also knew his education would be expensive.

That's why a GoFundMe page seemed like something he'd want to try.  Thus far, Pang-Riddle's GoFundMe page is one of the top fundraising pages in the state of North Carolina when it comes to money for education, currently at more than $12,000 in donation.

At last check, North Carolina boasts 5,162 active GoFundMe campaigns for college raising nearly $2 million.  In South Carolina there are 1,831 pages raising $767,000.

Pang-Riddle's pitch, relying on his family history to tell his story, is what really helped bring in so much money.

"A lot of special forces know what my Grandfather did.  They don't know me but they wanted to help fund me.  Based on his background they wanted to see me succeed," Pang-Riddle said.

Pang-Riddle's advice to future students at any school would be to start their campaign now, and share the link with as many people as possible with the hope they will share it with their extensive network, too.  He also says recipients should be grateful as the money comes in.

"I try to send everyone emails as soon as they make a donation to say thank you so much and tell them how appreciative I am," he added.

According to its own research, GoFundMe says North Carolina ranks 8th when it comes to students raising money for college.  South Carolina didn't crack the top ten.

GoFundMe has advice for students hoping to start a fundraising campaign.  Click here for that information.

Copyright WBTV 2017.  All Rights Reserved.