Out of all the different cryptocurrencies available, Bitcoin is by far the most likely to be accepted at a college, university or other educational institution. Certainly, it’s possible to sell other cryptocurrency holdings and buy an accepted version of Bitcoin (there’s more than one kind, so there’s a need to be careful about which type is acquired). You can then use that to pay for your education, where it’s possible to do so. Let’s look a little further into how this can be achieved.
Acceptance of Bitcoin in Education
The more progressive the educational establishment, the more likely they’ll make the move to accept Bitcoin. New York was the site of the first college accepting Bitcoin when King’s College agreed to be the first in accepting the currency for their students. It’s also gone international, as some colleges in other countries have jumped on Bitcoin usage too.
There’s only likely to be a growing list as people become more familiar and comfortable with using cryptocurrency for transactions. When it starts to become more mainstream over time – as has already happened in certain countries including the States – then all types of business (not just educational establishments) will jump on the bandwagon.
How Colleges Can Sell Their Cryptocurrency Positions Quickly
It’s certainly not universally accepted yet, partly because it’s still a relatively new and alternative means of paying for things and secondly because of its volatility.
While Bitcoin peaked at over $20,000, which raised investor and speculator interest in the currency, it’s since declined before settling at around $9,400 (at the time of writing this article). Educational establishments, therefore, need to be nimble to sell Bitcoin at an exchange to convert any educational payment for fiat currencies to mitigate the majority of the price fluctuation risk.
Setting up an arrangement with a prominent Bitcoin exchange that is willing to deal in transactions worth so many thousands of dollars is key to settling each transaction quickly and being reimbursed promptly to the college’s checking account.
Why Is Cryptocurrency Volatility Not Seen as an Issue by Students?
The price volatility of Bitcoin (and really most cryptocurrencies) is a chief concern of possible investors and speculators alike. People think twice about storing much spare cash as a Bitcoin balance if it’s their emergency cash fund. However, for a rainy-day fund, people don’t mind speculating with a small percentage of their liquid funds in Bitcoin.
For some students though, they aren’t buying Bitcoin to pay with it subsequently, because they already owned it. Many bought into cryptocurrency years ago, sat on it as it rose up to over $20,000 per BTC, and then rode it down to its current level. While the greater than 50% decline sent shocks to some crypto investors, many know their cost basis was very low and so they’re still well in profit.
Also, gold is very volatile too, whether buying gold coins, bars or a gold ETF. Yet this doesn’t put some investors off from putting a few percentage points of their investment portfolio into gold. Many students that hold cryptocurrencies feel the same way.
What is Driving the Interest in Bitcoin with Educational Establishments?
Millennials comprise a significant percentage of college admissions. Whether taking a Bachelor’s degree or following up with a Masters in Administration like the course offered at Kettering University Online, students are interested in everything digital.
It doesn’t really matter whether it’s an app, social media usage, managing their checking account through the bank’s app, or making payments by swiping their smartphone over a reader at a retail store to pay using Apple Pay or Google Pay; Millennials want to do virtually everything digitally. In their eyes, it’s faster, it’s cheaper, it’s better, and any other solution just takes more time.
Really, paying for college tuition, short courses and other miscellaneous items using cryptocurrency (and Bitcoin as it’s the most widely known and used) feels like second nature to the younger set.
Do Student Loans Still Have Validity?
Students are concerned about the likelihood of leaving college with hefty college debt to pay off. While they can sometimes defer payments or keep them low relative to their initially lower salary in their first real job, that doesn’t make the debt go away.
The interest carried is around 5-7 percent for a good chunk of student debt. For students that hold Bitcoin but will have some liability to the IRS on the capital gains should they sell, there’s some cause for concern. They may pause to ponder whether to apply for a student loan to pay for college, take a smaller loan in combination with liquidating some of their Bitcoin holdings or bite the bullet by liquifying all cryptocurrency holdings to avoid going into debt.
It depends on how risk-averse the student is, what their liability will be, their feelings on the long-term price growth in Bitcoin, and how much they dislike college debt.
Making a Final Decision
It’s quite possible that a potential student will weigh up one educational establishment over another based on the available payment methods. While that won’t be of interest to students taking a student loan out, for those with substantial Bitcoin positions, once they’ve decided whether they’re willing to use their crypto holdings to pay for college, then it clarifies their college criteria even more.
For students who are set on receiving an education from a specific type of college, they may be far less swayed by any consideration about payment methods. However, for students who intend to cover part or all of the future tuition costs by selling off Bitcoin to do so, finding a college that accepts it (and is unlikely to reverse that policy over the years that the degree course is running), it’ll be a significant factor in their decision-making process.
So – buying an education using Bitcoin, is it possible? Yes, it is. Yet, there’s still a relatively small pool of flexible colleges and other educational establishments that are willing to accept alternative means of payment. Students must be more flexible as to their choice of college when they’re fixed on paying using cryptocurrency. Otherwise, they’ll need to liquidate first, take the hit on capital gains, and then use the remainder to do it.