George Wythe University
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George Wythe University The Statesman
July 2013
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Home / Archive / Spotlight - May 2008

GWC Student Earns Four Years Tuition in Four Months

How one student has already earned full four-year tuition for herself and a family member.

One of the most significant challenges consistently faced by college students is that of financing their education.  This problem is made even more difficult for George Wythe students who have access to limited scholarship opportunities due to the college's present accreditation status.

Recognizing this difficulty George Wythe College CEO, Dr. Shanon Brooks, formed the college's Board of Entreprenuers in May 2007 and tasked them with identifying ways to provide students with opportunities to earn funds to pay for tuition and other expenses associated with their education.  We’d like to take this opportunity to highlight just one such solution the board has introduced.

Board member Ken Krogue took this challenge seriously and brought his significant marketing and telecommunications experience to bear on the challenge presented by Dr. Brooks.  Mr. Krogue introduced the rest of the board to the concept of affinity marketing – wherein specific groups of like-minded individuals are targeted for a product or service.  He indicated that students already have affinity groups in place – their family, friends, and community – who want to see them succeed in their pursuit of higher education.  Using his connections to the telecommunications industry, he proposed a program wherein students could offer below-market rates on internet, cell phone and long distance services to family members, friends, businesses and other consumers and a portion of the proceeds would go to the student to fund their education.  Mr. Krogue indicated that the service-providers are willing to provide lower rates because of the volume of business such a relationship provides. 

Initially this project was schedule to begin in May 2008 to help students raise funds for the Fall 2008 semester and beyond.  However, in late summer 2007, it was apparent that the need was immediate and Ken was asked if the project could be fast-tracked.

What Mr. Krogue accomplished in the ensuing eight months is nothing short of miraculous.  Ken spent evenings and weekends negotiating with service providers, building the website and other infrastructure essentials and training students – all in addition to his “day job” responsibilities.  From his efforts was born Comanity, a firm that enables non-profits, charities and other noble causes to benefit from the types of services every household and business already uses every day.

For example, if a household uses Quest for their long distance telephone services every month, they can “switch over” and a portion of their monthly bill goes to support a George Wythe College student.  They stay with Quest and keep their phone number, and very likely reduce their monthly long distance bill.

At present, Comanity has established relationships with Sprint, AT&T, Vonage, Touch Tone, USA Digital and others to provide residential and business cell phone, Internet, local and long distance phone services.

Comanity has the exciting potential of enabling students to pay for their full four-year degree through the residual income generated through the contracts they broker as a Comanity independent contractor.  In fact, several students have already done just that.

One student was able to negotiate with a business to switch over the phone service on more than 15 nationwide call centers to a Comanity-contracted provider.  Through this deal alone, this student will be able to pay the remainder of her George Wythe undergraduate degree and a full four-year degree for a sibling.  While her success is unusual, it illustrates the potential of this program.

In just the past few months, several other students covered a significant portion of their Winter semester tuition by brokering multiple residential contracts.

This summer, a number of students will be spending their entire summer presenting the program to businesses and homeowners throughout Utah on a full-time basis.

Many thanks to Mr. Krogue and his team of hard-working staff members for their selfless efforts to provide opportunities for students to fund their college education!  Watch for future updates in The Statesman on the progress of this great philanthropic program and the students benefiting from it.

To learn more about Comanity please visit www.gw.edu/comanity, www.comanity.com or contact the George Wythe College Comanity Liaison, Brian Middleton at comanity@gw.edu.

To learn more about Ken Krogue and the other members of the George Wythe College Board of Entreprenuers please visit our website at www.gw.edu/boe.

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