Philanthropy: College Students Get $100,000 To Give Away To Charity

They may be accruing debt and saving money on their Ramen-noodle dinners, but some college students will have the chance to donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to charity this year.

In an effort to teach university students about the complexities of giving, the Once Upon A Time Foundation gave eight universities between $50,000 and $100,000 to dole out to their philanthropy courses, Yale Daily News reports. Such classes offer students hands-on experience in determining how to choose to a charity and how much to donate.

Yale's "Philanthropy In Action," for example, focuses on the history, politics and economics of charity before deciding on the causes to give its $100,000.

"Very few people get the opportunity to make these types of decisions," Frances Sawyer, a student in the course, told the newspaper. "It really makes the idea of philanthropy more tactile and gives you a whole new rubric of things to think about."

Texas Christian University's "Nature of Giving" course is gearing up for its second year of donating and also has $100,000 to give away.

"This course teaches students about giving in a way that we have never experienced," Kathleen M. wrote on the TCU Honors Blog. "We will quickly learn that giving away money, for those that have it to give, is not as simple as it sounds."

Some foundations are going so far as to trust teenagers with a generous chunk of change to donate.

The Foundation for MetroWest in Natick, Mass., will give up to $60,000 to local nonprofits that pass a rigorous test of standards -- standards set by a group of high school students, reports.

In the past three years, 500 students have decided which organizations would be the fortunate recipients of the foundation's $300,000 in grants.

"There is this whole anticipated transfer of wealth that everyone is assuming is going to be happening with the baby boom generation," Judith Salerno, executive director of the Foundation for Metrowest told "So the idea of preparing the next generation to do smart, good things with that -- that's probably one of the bigger drivers."

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