GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Walking on campus after fall break was a sigh of relief for Mercy Woods.
Woods is a sophomore at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Just two weeks ago, her college education appeared in limbo.
"I received an e-mail saying that I missed a payment on my payment plan to pay off my tuition for this semester,” Woods said.
"As soon as I got that e-mail, that weekend they canceled my classes,” she added.
Her account had a negative balance of more than $2,000.
"I was just thinking to myself, wow. I know my parents don't have the money. I know I don't have the money. Where am I supposed to get this money from?” she said.
A friend suggested she set up a GoFundMe page.
With the headline “Help Me Stay in School,” Mercy’s page spread across Facebook and within three days she was able to receive the money she needed in time.
"I had raised over $3,000 for my education,” she said.
According to her GoFundMe page, 81 donors contributed.
"I thanked each and every person profusely. I wrote them a personal note saying thank you so much for just blessing me with just as much as you can give to benefit my education,” she said.
While Mercy’s situation worked out in the end, her story also shows the challenge many students face when trying to pay for a college education today.
"The whole process to get into college was hard, but they don't tell you how hard it is to stay in college,” Woods said.
"When you first get to college, they'll give you scholarships and grants and everything and then the next year you find out you don't have those because you're not a first-year student or something has changed in your financial background,” she added.
Woods says UNCG has done a good job working with her and providing financial aid.
Woods is maintaining a solid academic record with a 3.4 GPA.
She wants to be a pediatrician and work in developing countries.