Four Unusual Ways to Pay for College

Barry Lenson

Four Unusual Ways to Pay for College

College tuition is more than a bill. In the hands of the right people, it can become a protest, a beautiful gesture, or maybe even something to eat. Here are some recent stories that have made the news . . .

  1. Man pays for a semester with mail-in rebates. Jonathan Hood, a doctoral student, really works hard at paying his tuition. He roots around online, looking for items that are offered for free, or which offer big rebates. He buys that stuff, gets his rebate cards and checks. Then apparently, he sells stuff that he doesn’t want on eBay. To be frank, I don’t completely understand how he managed to pay for one semester of grad school by buying and selling stuff like Bluetooth headsets and ballpoint pens. But if you want to figure out how to do it too, you can read all about Jonathan in a recent article on Yahoo! Finance.
  2. College student pays for college with one-dollar bills. Okay, it was a protest thing. Nic Ramos, a student at the University of Colorado, Boulder, went to six banks and took out suitcases full of one-dollar bills and then paid his tuition that way. He wanted to prove the point that, “tuition is expensive.” The folks in the college business office were apparently not too pleased when they had to count all that cash. But he showed them. Here’s a video that tells the story.


3. College student pays tuition with pennies. Now, this story is inspiring. A woman named Faith Hammock in Indianapolis started putting aside pennies when her God daughter Kyla was three. Faith got all her friends and relatives to contribute pennies too. They were picking up change on the street, rooting around under sofa pillows, emptying their pockets. And it worked. Kyla hit college age. And guess what? Faith had managed to collect half a million pennies - $5,000 – which she contributed to Kyla’s tuition at Indiana University. I wish I had a God mother like Faith. By the way, considerate Faith cashed in the pennies and gave Kyla a check. You can read all about it on CBS News, or watch this video.

4. Man pays for culinary school with 5,000 pounds of pork rinds. Clorkton Tiddle of Manhasset, New York stunned the employees at the Long Island School of Culinary Arts when he arrived at school and paid his tuition with 350,000 bags of Hot `n Spicy Pork Rinds that he had bought at Costco earlier in the day. “Their jaws dropped,” Clorkton told reporters. Okay, this story isn’t true, we made it up for your entertainment this morning. Didn’t fool you, did we?

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