Donating to does two fundraising pushes each year: End of Calendar Year (now) and End of School Year (May). We do not spend a lot of time bombarding mailboxes, inboxes and news feeds shaking our supporters and fans down for money.

Unlike charities that are raising money to support huge infrastructures, staff, bills and such. We raise money for one thing: to help fund dreams for the boys (and hopefully others in the future). I do not get paid a penny. I pay for our rent and food in the house. I pay many of the business bills from my teacher’s salary. But, the truth is we do have very real expenses for the boys.

Our semester cost are approximately $16,000. That’s right. While that may sound like a lot (and it is) this money goes to cover mostly food and shelter, with books and healthcare thrown into the mix. The idea of getting a “Full Ride” scholarship is like catching a unicorn, unrealistic. Most schools do not have the funds to do such scholarships, more importantly, as international students our boys are much more restricted with their opportunities. Gleb was rewarded the most financially strong package, but Max and Daniil were no slouches.

To give it some further context the full retail price of the three universities the boys attend Bucknell, Alma, and Wittenberg per semester would be approximately $80,000. Over four years that totals nearly $640,000. The price we will help cover with your support is $148,000.

So how do we raise that much money? The truth is, we don’t raise all of the funds. Some of you may be mumbling “They should pay for their own college! I worked two jobs when I was in school…” and we agree, to the point that we can. The boys are legally allowed to work no more than twenty hours a week and only at their university. That is roughly $200 a week that they may put towards their college costs, and they do this.

What about loans? The boys are unable to get bank or student loans, without a co-signer. As international students, they do not qualify for student loans and since neither they, nor their families have any real resources to speak of, making it all but impossible to secure any sort of credit at all (and the fall of the ruble has only exacerbated this.)

So, why not go to a state school? As students here on F-1 Visa’s they are not allowed to qualify for in-state tuition, no matter how long they live here. To attend the local university the cost would start at $34,000 a year and the opportunities for international financial aid are next to nothing. Finally, in order to be granted a visa, they must be able to prove they have the full funds for an entire year of school prior to actually attending. For Gleb, he had to prove that he had the resources and scholarships to cover $60,000+ a year before he could get a visa (Max and Daniil was approximately $50,000 each.)

Here is Where Your Money Goes

Max and Daniil’s colleges each cost approximately $16,000 a year. This is EVERYTHING. Insurance, books, flights, room and board, fees, etc. Each boy works to bring down their cost approximately $5,000. So, $11,000 a year remaining.

Total cost of the school: $48,000
Total financial aid: $32,000
Remaining balance: $16,000

What is the breakdown for the $16,000?

Nearly $10,000 is room and board. Essentially rent and food for the year is $1,000 a month, which is not a horrible deal when you consider what it would cost to actually rent a place and pay for bills and groceries (especially how they eat!)

Here is a nifty graph demonstrating how Daniil’s college breaks down (Max’s is identical):

(Click to see larger image)

When you make your donation this is where the money goes. 100% goes to support the boys. It goes to Max’s dreams, it goes to Daniil’s dreams. Period.

Please consider making a donation today!

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