College Student Pays $14,000 Tuition In Singles

A student at the University of Colorado, Boulder, is making headlines after deciding to pay for all $14,300 of his semester’s tuition in $1 bills.

“You’re looking at all this money and you’re thinking ‘Wow, this is for one semester of school,” the out-of-state student told a Colorado news station about toting the cash to the bursar’s office in a duffel bag. “It was quit a sight and they said that nobody had even payed in ones before…. I just hope that it kind of stirs some conversations and people talk about it.”

His mom says she hopes her son’s stunt will bring some attention to the rising cost of an education. “Tuition has gone up so much and there are a lot of kids who don’t have a family who can send them to school,” she explains. “There are a lot of children who have to pay for their own education, who have to take out loans.”


Student Pays Tuition In $1 Bills, Parents In Sacramento React []


Edit Your Comment

  1. Tedsallis says:

    Good on him for no debt but kind of a jerk move otherwise.

    • wrjohnston91283 says:

      Pretty risky too – good thing he didn’t get robbed and have to take out a loan after all.

    • chemmy says:

      What if he paid in pennies?

      • ITDEFX says:

        I don’t remember if it was on consumerist or another site but there was this one guy who paid to get his car out of the impound with pennies or loose change… the police got involved and well there was nothing technically that could be done because it was all legal currency and the place HAD to take it.

        • Costner says:

          Incorrect. They did not HAVE to take it. Legal tender means it is legal to use for monetary transactions, it does not mean they are forced to take it.

          I believe in the case you are referring to they eventually took it just to get rid of the kid, and since the majority of his money was wrapped (meaning they didn’t actually need to count it) they just didn’t bother to create more of a scene than they already did.

          Agencies and private businesses can refuse to accept any form of payment they wish provided they offer a legal and legitimate way to pay. If they say they want to be paid in bills no larger than $20, that is their right, just as it is their right to refuse large payments in change and/or singles.

          • whimmel says:

            If the guy owed money to the impound lot then it’s a debt and they would be required to accept legal tender as payment. If you’re buying something new (not a debt) then they have a choice whether to accept cash and coin as payment.

            • TheFingerOfGod says:

              If they owed the debt to the federal govt. then they would be forced to take it. If this were a private company then they would not be required to take it.

              • Geekybiker says:

                “Legal tender for any debt, public or private” Not only government. You can refuse to take payment however you like *ahead* of time. As soon as it becomes debt, meaning billed after the fact, they have to take legal tender.

      • Sian says:

        That would weigh 8000 pounds. He would need several truckloads, or to rent a u-haul.

    • dangerp says:

      Yeah, kind of a jerk because the clerks that have to count all of those ones aren’t the ones responsible for the unreasonably high cost of tuition nowadays. But totally reasonable from a standpoint of making a point to the university and the education industry that things are getting out of hand.

      • common_sense84 says:

        Please. Get over yourself. This was not a jerk move.

        This was a good move. The people are paid to be there for 8-9 hours a day. They are paid whether they are counting 13k in singles, sitting at a desk doing nothing, or answering phone calls.

        This does not effect the cashier in any way.

        • Rectilinear Propagation says:

          This does not effect the cashier in any way.

          Only because it was already bundled up. Having to work overtime to count a bunch of singles would count as an effect.

          • imasqre says:

            I know.. it is completely ridiculous for a cashier to count a lot of bills! Why would you even expect them to do that?

        • Costner says:

          The only way to verify the payment is to actually count it in front of him. Otherwise if he walked away they could claim it was only 13,600 and he would have no way to prove they are incorrect.

          So in actuality – this was a stupid move on his part. Not only did he waste time of the employees who count the money (which I can promise you was done via a counting machine in less than 5 minutes), but he wasted the time of bank employees who had to round up $14,000 worth of singles for him (which would obviously require a trip to the vault which ties up a shift manager and/or lead teller, manager, and probably forces others at the bank to wait until this teller completes the transaction.

          So in essense… in order to “make a point” he was nothing if not just a selfish arrogant jerk who wanted 15 minutes of fame for his actions.

          Frankly if he tried to pay me with 14,000 singles I would refuse to accept payment much like cities refuse to accept coins as payment for traffic violations. And before you ask or make a statement about legal tender, remember just because it is legal does not mean someone is required to accept it. This has been discussed ad naseum, and the school could have refused cash entirely, or could have required it to be in no less than 20s etc.

          So in the end his point is tuition is expensive. Great, but who among us did not already know that?

          • TheSkaAssassin - College Man says:

            >Frankly if he tried to pay me with 14,000 singles I would refuse to accept payment much like cities refuse to accept coins as payment for traffic violations.

            1) You can’t just not accept it. It’s legal tender.
            2) Same goes with coins and traffic violations. If you are paying a debt, they must accept all legal tender.

            • ajaxd says:

              “Legal tender” does not mean payment cannot be refused. Lots of small stores, gas stations, etc… will refuse bills over $20. It’s perfectly legal.

              • CoachTabe says:

                Legal tender means that payment of a DEBT cannot be refused. When purchasing an item, payment can be refused. In this case, however, the student was paying a debt (their tuition bill), thus any form of legal tender must be accepted.

                • Costner says:

                  I really, really, REALLY wish people would educate themselves before making such statements… especially when they proclaim them to be accurate.

                  The US Treasury specifically has stated that legal tender is a valid and legal OFFER of payment for goods, services or payment of debts, but this does not require the business, organization, or person to accept them. They key term here is OFFER, because just because it is offered does not mean it must be accepted. There is no such Federal law which requires anyone to accept any and all forms of legal tender unless they wish to.

                  The guy was still being a jerk for some press time, and at the end of the day he accomplished nothing. He would have had more of an impact writing a letter to his Senator rather than wasting the time of numerous others… but then again writing a letter isn’t nearly as interesting and surely won’t get you on Consumerist.


          • s73v3r says:

            Oh shut up. All those people you were talking about? They were doing their jobs. That is what they are there to do. If they don’t like doing it, they should get another job.

            Look at it this way: Are a group of employees picketing in front of their employer, protesting unfair or unsafe working conditions “selfish arrogant jerks” because they are blocking the entrance to the business and making it harder for the employer to get work done?

            • Costner says:

              If your response has to begin with “shut up” it is obvious you aren’t very good at making a valid argument.

              Not to mention your idiotic statement of those people were doing their jobs doesn’t justify his actions. I could go into a public restroom and decide to defacate all over the floor too…. hey – the janitor who has to clean it is only doing his job right?

              Or maybe I could just leave my shopping cart in the open parking space next to my car when I’m done with it instead of taking it all the way to the cart corral 30 feet away. After all – according to your logic people are paid to retrieve those carts so they are just doing their jobs.

              There is a huge difference between what it means to be respectful and human versus what is legally mandatory. The kid was being a jerk and he knew it. Just because someone is paid to perform a task does not give you the right to make their lives any more difficult, but thanks for showing us that you could care less about those around you provided they are actually being paid.

          • slappysquirrel says:

            The reasonable way to get it out of the bank is to call the bank on Wednesday, identify himself and his account number and say he would like to pick up the $16,000 in $1 bills on Monday. A friend of mine is a coin collector and he does this when he’s getting large numbers of coins to go through. Getting the money in your chosen denomination is no real work for the bank if they have notice.

        • cgalleria93 says:

          “has no affect” not effect. If it did affect them, then there would be an effect.

      • MamaBug says:

        it looks like they were wrapped, from the bank, imo.

      • u1itn0w2day says:

        14K is 14K. Clerks are probably paid unless interning or volunteering. Counting money is part of the job. They now have a war story to talk about for years.

        The cash payment is an outstanding way to show the true cost of tuition and alot of other things. Makes those clerks and others realize not only how much tuition is but ‘tuition’ is more than the administrative paper work required for a loan, grant, scholarship or check from mom & dad,

      • YokoOhNo says:

        Ensuring you don’t cause another person to fulfill their job responsibilities should be given a higher priority than making a principled statement.

      • Red Cat Linux says:

        Please, it’s nothing so dramatic as spinning straw into gold.

        Nobody counts that out by hand unless they have no choice. You take that to their bank and bank clerks run it through a counting machine and inform the customer of the total.

        Even if you count it by hand, it doesn’t take that long.

      • Red Cat Linux says:

        Please, it’s nothing so dramatic as spinning straw into gold.

        Nobody counts that out by hand unless they have no choice. You take that to their bank and bank clerks run it through a counting machine and inform the customer of the total.

        Even if you count it by hand, it doesn’t take that long.

    • a354174 says:

      I don’t see what is so special about this anyway. Would I be more of a jerk if I paid my IN STATE tuition of $16,000 a semester to the University of Dayton in Cash?

    • spamtasticus says:

      Kind of a good comment but a jerk move otherwise.

  2. ianmac47 says:

    If he was worried about tuition costs, wouldn’t he have found a school where he was in-state rather than going out of state to Colorado?

    • FireJayPa says:

      Maybe he felt Colorado offered him the best option in regards to his major? Perhaps they have a well known program that has a good track record of getting you a job post graduation. Not everyone goes to a 13th grade community college.

      • Mulysa says:

        It is my experience that most out-of-staters go to CU for the skiing nearby. It is a good University, and some of the programs are amongst the best in the nation. But generally, a lot of students are there for the outdoor recreation.

    • INDBRD says:

      Perhaps the school in Colorado had a better or the best program for his area of study.

      While the cost of out-of-state- education is high there are many who move to the state for 6 months prior to attending class to get the in-state rate. These individuals are of course robbing the tax payers of that state as the tax payers make up the difference in taxes…

      • Jean Naimard says:

        What is worse? A student thusly “robbing” the taxpayers for the time he is getting educated to become a more productive member of Society, or a company blatantly exploiting tax loopholes and exporting jobs to China?

        Perhaps you think the company is okay because it “maximizes shareholders’ value”???

      • captadam says:

        Robbing? If the law says six months of residence is required, then nobody is robbing anybody. They’re following the rules. If six months of residency is not long enough, then the law can be changed.

        • rijrunner says:

          Well, the in-state 6 month thing only applies if you can establish that you are an emancipated student. If your parents or guardians still reside out of state, you have to have several years on not being claimed on their taxes as a dependent.

          CU Boulder, and Colorado public colleges, are legally required to have a 55% in-state to 45% out-of-state balance. That occurred when a state legislator was unable to get his daughter accepted and then he found out that CU, at that time, had a 60+% out-of-state student body. Now, they legally keep that balance, but they now target specific schools that have higher tuition to be mostly out-of-state. (ie, engineering and business are next to impossible to get into as an instate student).

          Its also entirely possible that his state did not even have his major available. (Which was my case. WV does not have an aerospace engineering program at any of its colleges, so I went to CU).

    • myCatCracksMeUp says:

      It’s very hard to get into many state schools as an in-state student. Here in Virginia, many excellent students with good grades and SAT scores can’t get into the top 5 or 6 VA schools, but can get into a good state school in another state. Meanwhile, the Virginia schools accepts lesser students from out of state. This is so they can make more money and save the state money. I think it sucks, but it’s not likely to change.

      • slappysquirrel says:

        Yeah, and that all has been true for at least 15 years. I know of a Northern Virginia student who got into an Iny but didn’t get into UVA.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      There’s nothing in the article to indicate he was worried about tuition costs. It seems that he just wanted to bring to light the sheer amount of money it took for one semester of college. It was his mom who said that “there are a lot of children” (not indicating her own) who have to pay for their own education.

      • George4478 says:

        It only took that “sheer amount of money” because he chose for it to. My son’s in-state tuition to Georgia Tech is $1700-ish a semester. How much would this guy’s in-state tuition at a quality college be? I’m guessing not enough to make news.

        It’s like buying a Mercedes with singles to highlight how much cars cost. Guess what — “cars” don’t cost that much; the high-priced car you CHOSE cost that much.

        • pythonspam says:

          In-state tuition at GT hasn’t been $1700/semester in a long time. The current rate is $3,535/semester plus $823 mandatory fees.
          The board of regents budget took a huge hit so programs and campuses around the state got shuttered while u(sic)ga got to keep its bamboo garden research center and somehow found “existing” money to try starting an engineering program.

    • s73v3r says:

      Depending on the field of study and the state, there may not be a very good program for what you want to do in your state.

  3. sufreak says:

    I thought it was going to be a girl at first, and the stripper jokes were abound.

    I hope it does bring attention to the rising costs of education.

  4. Blueskylaw says:

    From 1978 – 2008 cost of living increased roughly 2.5-fold during this time; medical costs inflated roughly 6-fold; but college tuition and fees inflation approached 10-fold. Another way to say this is that whereas medical costs inflated at twice the rate of cost-of-living, college tuition and fees inflated at four times the rate of cost-of-living inflation. Thus, even after controlling for the effects of general inflation, 2008 college tuition and fees posed three times the burden as in 1978.

    In other words: WOW!!!!

    • wonderkitty now has two dogs says:

      I began college in 2002, and I am appalled at the cost of the SAME education for 2010. I honestly have no idea why it has become so unreasonably expensive.

      • zigziggityzoo says:

        Easy answer: Since 2002 State and Federal funding for most institutions has gone down the toilet. The costs didn’t go down with the lack of funding, so the cost is passed onto the students.

        • Neomang says:

          You say this as if cutting funding to colleges and post-secondary institutions is all fine and good. The cost is growing far faster than it should, especially the direct cost to students.

          • zigziggityzoo says:

            What, specifically, are universities spending too much money on?

            • Firethorn says:

              you know, I think this is something that warrents some serious study? I mean, where is the money going? Payroll? Premesis? Student Benefits? Remodeling, new equipment, fancy art, what?

              • mcs328 says:

                I’d say for payroll for current and future retention of athletic coaches so your college sports team can make the championships. Hopefully, you get more students who want to join the college with a winning record or get more alumni money.

                • darcmosch says:

                  Actually, from what I’ve seen at my university, while classes offered and majors offered has been going down, tuition and administrative costs have gone up. Apparently they are starting to do what our so-beloved banks are doing. They make you pay more for a recognized head who cares more about our pocketbooks than our education. My major has to do with Chinese and my university is phasing it out. A language everyone could stand to learn and they’re taking it away in favor of the flashy business school because apparently learning a foreign language and business in the arts and sciences college isn’t as profitable.

        • Jonesey says:

          This is exactly right. Federal and State funding has gone way down and the only way the a university can sustain itself to make up the difference is to pass the bill on to the students. My own alma mater had to bump up tuition drastically after the broke state it resides in was unable to support the university.

      • CycloneBD says:

        You should work on graduating, and then you wouldn’t have to worry about the 2010 fees. (/sarcasm)

      • Blueskylaw says:

        The same reason that credit card companies can charge you 30% interest, $30 late fees, and interest on balances you have already paid off is the same reason that colleges can charge you an incredible amount for tuition (including $150 for what is essentially a $19.95 book at Barnes and Noble), because they can.
        Just as banking and credit cards have become a necessity these days (try renting a car or a room without a card) so has a college education.

      • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

        We all need to be reeducated about this from time to time: The real reason that the cost of education is so crazy out of whack is student loans:

      • INsano says:

        Because what was once a mandate to educate has now devolved, even on many of the ‘non-profit’ campuses, into a “take as much as you can from these fuckers in 4-6 years” by way of whatever the government will give them in loans. The keepers of knowledge of a society are now the, “Hell yeah I want a 5k raise next year” crowd.
        When colleges saw what the for-profits were doing, maxing out tuition charges based on what kind of student aid kids qualified for, and thereby able to jack up the price every year, the ‘non-profit’ schools often now run by MBAs and business minded types rather than those trying to give students a real education, decided to follow suit and load students up with loans, since as all Americans know, loans aren’t real money.
        Course…then there is that time, down the road(probably not too far), when so many people can’t pay their loans, or the price of education is so absurd that the government will stop offering sky-is-the-limit loans without something in it for society or the student…and then the price of college will plummet.

    • zigziggityzoo says:

      In 1978 Colleges didn’t have IT departments, either.

      Times have changed.

      • Blueskylaw says:

        So then the IT program should be more expensive and all the other programs cheaper?

        • Tyanna says:

          That’s how it is in Canada….. :(

        • zigziggityzoo says:

          Perhaps you don’t understand.

          IT Department does not equal Computer Science Engineering courses.

          It literally means that there’s now a whole department dedicated to Information Technology at the university – the part RUNNING the university. Projectors, Computer labs, printing, Internet Access, Networking, etc.

          None of that existed before.

          • Blueskylaw says:

            I believe that the people who ran the mimeograph and photo slide machines now run the IT department. If they don’t then it’s just replacing people with one skill for people with another.

            • slappysquirrel says:

              At least in my law school, the people who actually keep the network running and the people who set up AV equipment are two separate but related departments.

      • Hi_Hello says:

        hahaha this remind me.
        I went into college as a Computer Science Major. It was in the college of math and science. We had a computer lab, got free printing, tutor access, and a bunch of stuff on the college of math and science building. We were classified as Computer Scientist.

        During the last semester, the school ‘restructured’. We were now part of the college of Engineering. We were in the same building that we has always been in. The other engineering students have their own building. We had the exact same resources as we did before the ‘restructure’. Only two things changed. We were classified as Software Engineer and our tuition jacked up by 5 G a semester.

        • Blueskylaw says:

          This sounds like when companies took tuna out of a can and put it into a “revolutionary” flavor pouch with the expectant increase in price.

          • OutPastPluto says:

            The “flavor pouch” is just a civilian MRE. It actually is supposed to require less energy and cooking in order to sterilize. So it should be cheaper to make and require not strangling the life out of the food so much. (which conventional canning does)

      • jessjj347 says:

        Yeah, they did. It’s called IS (information systems).

      • ubermex says:

        Having IT saves money. IT departments are replacing what would be spent on enormous buildings full of paper files.

        • Blueskylaw says:

          ATM’s also save banks money by not requiring them to have as many tellers, yet they somehow managed to get people to believe that having these machines is a burden to them while they rake in massive profits on what is esentially an electronic transaction.

    • evnmorlo says:

      Basing your cost of living on Chinese imports does make it confusing when you have to pay someone non-Chinese

    • squirrel says:

      To quote a line from the Judge Smails in Caddyshack:

      “Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too.”

    • jesusofcool says:

      No doubt I think the continuously rising cost of a college education is one of the biggest problems facing America today. It ruins our financial health and prevents us from having one of the most educated and flexible workforces as we once did. If we don’t solve this soon, we will continue to fall behind other first world nations.

      • calculon000 says:

        Soon? Hasn’t the US ranked in just about dozens of different aspects vs other countries as something other than #1 for years now? Granted, it’s still #1 in a few aspects like size of economy, but many, many others where it is not.

  5. MikeB says:

    Um. If your out of state tuition is too high, go to an in-state school.

    • Etoiles says:

      My in-state tuition (after including all “mandatory fees,” because the University was allowed to raise those independently of the state government) was between $17k and $23k yearly (it increased, and dorms / meal plan were mandatory for all underclassmen whose parents lived more than 20 miles from campus), and I believe it’s more now.

      In-state tuition at one’s state school is a good option as compared to many others, but I’m so tired of folks on this site thinking that means “cheap.”

      • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

        Hot damn.

        My husband graduated from a good state school in the mid-80s and tuition/fees/books/room&board was around $8k a year.

        My kids are all going into the ROTC program.

    • myCatCracksMeUp says:

      It’s very hard to get into many state schools as an in-state student. The schools accept only so many in state slots, then fill the rest with out of state students, in order to bring in more money to the school and save the state money.

      • minjche says:

        Could you cite a source?

      • coren says:

        What is not as hard is gaining residency in your state of choice once admitted. Granted it takes you longer to graduate, but the cost savings can be years of earnings.

      • evnmorlo says:

        Ha, my state wants to give illegal immigrants in-state tuition.

      • binder34 says:

        You know that this is completely and utterly untrue, right? Since state schools take state funding, they are required to give admissions preference to in-state applicants whose tax dollars help fund the schools. For example, the University of Virginia, in your state, is one of the best public schools in the country, and acceptance is difficult for anyone. However, it is still significantly easier for in-state applicants to be admitted over out-of-state applicants, at an acceptance rate of 42.4% of 14,652 in-state applicants vs. 24% of 7,964 out-of-state applicants, for the class of 2014 (see Since UVA (and other state schools) must take more in-state students, the pool becomes diluted, and in-state residents are able to have worse credentials than out-of-state residents because the out-of-state residents are fighting for fewer slots.

      • demeteloaf says:

        Ummmm, are you sure about that.

        Most state schools have a mandate from the state government for how many in state students they need to accept. Usually, this is a large majority.

        I know at UVa (my alma mater), the in state acceptance rate is something like 42%, while out of state is 22%.

        Much easier to get into as an in state student.

    • s73v3r says:

      Depending on the chosen field of study, there may not be a good program at an in state school.

  6. Power Imbalance says:

    CU is a pretty spendy school here in CO.

    So why bitch if you picked a super $$$ school and go there out-of-state on-top of it all?

  7. msky says:

    I wish he wouldbt paid in pennies.

  8. Xyjar says:

    Yes, tuition is expensive, but what was the point of that. It’s really not that hard to just bring all those $1s to a bank to deposit, so his attempt at making a stand or whatever just kinda fizzles out there.

    It’s also funny because it’s not like a speeding ticket, where you disagree with the cost and such, but have to pay anyway. With tuition, if you don’t like the cost, you can just say “see ya” and not pay for another semester.

  9. MightyHorse says:

    does your state not have any colleges in it?

    • myCatCracksMeUp says:

      It’s very hard to get into many state schools as an in-state student. The schools accept only so many in state slots, then fill the rest with out of state students, in order to bring in more money to the school and save the state money. (sorry to repeat this in multiple places, but the same question is in multiple places.)

  10. Derek Balling says:

    That’s not a stunt! He delivered them up in counted taped bundles.

    A *stunt* would have involved a burlap sack and 14,000 loose singles.

  11. Moosehawk says:

    “There are a lot of children who have to pay for their own education, who have to take out loans.”

    I don’t see any problem with this. I’m finishing my last semester of my 4-year degree and I fully expect to pay my entire tuition using the loans I’ve had to take out. Having to rely entirely on these loans for the last 7 semesters has taught me about financial responsibility and stability.

    Yea, sure, on the FAFSA forms they say the one taking the loans out should fill out all the information, but I can’t tell you how many of my friends had their parents take care of all their taxes, loans, and payments to the school. These same friends will have less knowledge about how to take care of themselves and how to manage their money.

    • jessjj347 says:

      Man, you should talk to anyone you know who has been out of school for 5-10 years. If you paid your entire tuition or most of it in loans, you may not be paying those loans back for decades (depending on your situation of course).

      • Moosehawk says:

        Oh I’m well aware of what it will take to pay off those loans. I already have a steady job lined up coming out of school and I’ve spent a lot of hours mapping out a financial plan that I intend to follow pretty closely. Me and my girlfriend discussed living at home for at least a year before buying a home as well, unless we find a good deal on one (and I know somebody who’s been in the real estate business for a while so I might end up with a little luck there).

    • aloria says:

      Loans are a problem when your parents have shitty credit so you have no one who can co-sign on your loans. Mine declared bankruptcy several years before I graduated high school; If I hadn’t had an aunt who was willing to help me out, I wouldn’t have been able to finish my sophomore year. Luckily, I busted my ass and was able to get a full scholarship for my junior and senior years of college.

    • DorsalRootGanglion says:

      I’ve encountered students who are working and loaning their way through school. Some are in better shape than others. Many who are working full-time and trying to go to school full-time end up needing to cut back on school in order to make their finances come into alignment. Living in a city where even a shared apartment in a dangerous area can be 700 a month+ utilities, plus the cost of mass transit, means that you need to pull down a real salary while still trying to handle a school’s work-load.

      Also, you seem to have a good job lined up. For some people, that isn’t possible. If you’re going to school for, say, nursing, you’re going to need more education and struggle more to get a real job. I do hope you suffer a little, though. Maybe break a leg or have your girlfriend get unexpectedly pregnant and want to keep the baby. I think you need to be knocked down a few notches. Not everyone is male, healthy, and white.

    • theduckay says:

      “but I can’t tell you how many of my friends had their parents take care of all their taxes, loans, and payments to the school. These same friends will have less knowledge about how to take care of themselves and how to manage their money.”

      This may be true in some cases, but I don’t think its a good idea to generalize. My parents took care of all of that stuff when I was going to school, but I’ve always been good with money and am currently paying off the loans that were taken out. And yes, I know how to take care of myself. I’d say the majority of students have parents who take care of these things for them. Just because a teenager is fortunate enough to not be thrown into working 3 part time jobs to finance their education doesn’t really mean they are clueless in regards to their finances. They just learn these things gradually after they graduate, as opposed to when they graduate high school, which I don’t see anything wrong with. Most parents chose to do this because they want their children to focus on grades and trying to get a job. I graduated a year ago, I don’t consider myself any less self-sufficient or more financially irresponsible than those who had more of a part in financing their educations.

    • YokoOhNo says:

      check back in with us 3 years after you graduate and let us know how the job search is going and your expected ROI.

      regardless of what you were told, not everyone who experiences financial hardship went into it thinking they’d just blow off their obligations.

    • chargernj says:

      College financial aid counselor here. This is one of my biggest peeves. I can understand that a parent might not want their child to have to worry about things like how their education is financed. but seriously, your kid should be present while the FAFSA is being filled out. But at the very least let your kid do their own Direct Loan paperwork. I mean, your kid is an adult right? The Entrance Counseling and MPN combined take less than an hour to complete.

      I often tell colleagues, if you aren’t smart enough to complete the FAFSA and/or MPN then maybe your not smart enough to go to college. The forms really aren’t that difficult.

  12. UnicornMaster says:

    I’d hate to be the guy in line behind him.

    • OutPastPluto says:

      You know, they have special machines to count money now. They also check to make sure the bills are actually genuine. If this outfit does any sort of money handling at all then the counting of these bills should not be a big deal.

      This is 2010.

      You could buy your own money counter/validator if you really wanted to. It would actually be pretty cheap in the pantheon of silly consumer gadgets.

  13. StB says:

    prsn pyng thr ttn s str? Bg frckn’ dl!

  14. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    OK, but make him sit there until they count it all. Make sure he didn’t slip a couple of ones out of those bundles. It could take awhile – including lunch breaks.

    • Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

      Better yet! Count it real slowly–“sorry, the bill counting machine’s broken”–and tack on a 5% “payment processing fee.” Then tell the yahoo that if he doesn’t come up with the difference by 9am the next morning (hopefully by the time they counted this, the banks would have closed) he’ll be in default and all credits earned to that point will be null and void. Acting like a jerk can work both ways, y’know,

  15. Ben Popken says:

    CU is pricey for out of staters.

    • mandy_Reeves says:

      yes, one day I had a $3500 check from my pell grant left overs. As cash it was scary..I had someone else drive me there and was paranoid someone would jump me in the parking lot of the check cashing place.

  16. Tallanvor says:

    That would have seemed like a lot one day. Then I had a couple of times where I had to take $100,000+ in cash to the bank. Needless to say carrying around that kind of cash makes you a bit nervous.

    • MrEvil says:

      Why not hire an armored car to make those 100k+ deposits for you? I mean that’s why armored car services exist. Having 100 thou in cash on your person is enough money to make it worthwhile to plan on when and how you make those large cash drops and intercept you en-route.

    • shepd says:

      Been there, done that (okay, $30k, not $100k). Best way to do it is to keep it in something that looks like junk (old take out bags are good) and leave it in your car with all the other rubbish. Or you can try to keep it on you, but that becomes obvious over $5k.

      Glad I don’t own my own shop anymore…

  17. shotgun_shenanigans says:

    “It was quit a sight and they said that nobody had even payed in ones before.

    nobody had even payed in ones before.

    even payed in ones before.

    payed in ones



    I know it’s in the original article and they’re the ones that need a decent editor, but sheesh.

    • Emaewest says:

      I believe “payed” and “paid” are equally correct.

      • jabberwockgee says:

        Type payed into, it spits out paid, with an ‘alternate spelling’ of payed.

        An alternate spelling which no one uses and coincidentally makes you look stupid when you use it.

      • Rebecca K-S says:

        “Payed” is correct, but it’s a different word. It’s the past tense of “pay” as in “paying out a rope.” If you’re paying money, it’s “paid.”

    • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

      I quite wish they’d just quit.

  18. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    “It was quit a sight and they said that nobody had even payed in ones before…. I just hope that it kind of stirs some conversations and people talk about it.”

    Apparently Fox 8 doesn’t have any copy editors.

  19. ninabi says:

    He is majoring in economics. I know about CU-Boulder for engineering, but is it one of the top schools for economics?

    Was his choice of a college…economical?

    • Cry Havoc says:


    • pinkbunnyslippers says:

      I was going to bring this point up, so thanks for doing so. This kid is choosing to go to a State college without a really highly recognized program for Economics. You would’ve thought an Economics student would have more sense, in-state/out of state/jerk or not status aside.

      And is it just me and where I grew up, or was it that anytime a classmate decided to go to a school out in Colorado, most times wasn’t it because he was more interested in snowboarding/smoking than the education he was receiving? Especially when he’s going there NOT for something the school’s primarily known (I can see going there for engineering, business, etc.) Just curious if that was just how it was in my HS…

  20. Caggeyder says:

    It makes me sad, as a janitor, I clean the offices of the administrative staff of the school I used to go to. I cannot tell you how many times I see “administrative assistant” and “executive assistant” plagues next to their offices. And then I hear that they are raising the tuition 10% to cover budget cuts.
    I dropped out of my mechanical engineering degree halfway through because I didn’t want to take out a $20,000 loan to finish the last two years of university. I had hoped to work to save at least half so I didn’t have a massive debt going out of school.
    Reflecting on this now, I don’t ever think I can make it.

    • Brie says:

      I’ll bite – I have no idea what you are saying in the first part of this. Are you noticing admin/exec assistant plaQues, and are you then suggesting… what? assistants should have cubes instead of offices? …or you wish the offices were filled with managers who make more money…?

      • Caggeyder says:

        No, I’m saying that the administrative staff is so bloated yet they are squeezing the students dry, cutting full time professors and cutting programs left and right.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          So you’re saying that departments shouldn’t have assistants to handle administrative things? My university psychology department had one assistant. One person to handle the scheduling for all of the clubs, all of the professors’ schedules (leave, speaking engagements, etc.) and handle student inquiries, meeting notes and memos.

          The job isn’t easy. Before you start playing manager, think about what you’re saying. There’s a lot more to running a university than providing teachers and desks.

      • u1itn0w2day says:

        I get what he is saying. Unless colleges and alot of other institutions stop pricing under the premise someone else is paying for it they will have alot of puffy titles and/or make work jobs.

        If nothing else those administrators need to process or spend that money someone else generated other than the student.

    • unpolloloco says:

      You should seriously take a step back and take a long-term view of your situation. 20k is probably less than the difference in yearly salary between what you’d make as a janitor and as a mechE. 20k is significant, but comparatively nothing when your starting salary is at least 2.5 times that. You can pay the loan off in a year with money to spare if you life frugally.

      • unpolloloco says:


        • Caggeyder says:

          You’re assuming I can get a job when I graduate. This is precisely why I don’t want to take a $20k bet with my future. With the job market like it is and unemployment in the record highs, the last thing I want for myself is a twenty thousand debt and applying to retail jobs to support myself.

          • ninabi says:

            I live amongst engineers young and old. Engineering is a field where you will make your tuition money back in salary, easily. The jobs are out there. Go…go back!

          • unpolloloco says:

            It’s correct that you need to weigh the risks, but in this case, I’d say the risk is rather low compared to the potential reward. Engineers are not doing badly in this economy compared to most majors and projections are looking up. Yes, there is risk involved, but there is also risk in every action that you do. The key is to balance risks vs. rewards.

      • LisetteKoopman says:

        Dude, you need to seriously consider going back to school.

        All of my friends who are engineers are employed and doing quite well. You will find a job. Actually, I recommend you get an internship while in college. Upon graduation, that internship will most likely turn into a full time position with a good starting salary (several of my friends including me did this).

    • chargernj says:

      What school do you work for that doesn’t waive tuition for their employees? I’ve worked at 3 different colleges. Two were private, one was proprietary, but all of them waived tuition for employees and sometimes even their kids.

      I mean, if I were in your shoes I would be a janitor and a student.

      Could be things are different if you work at a public college.

  21. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    “It was quit a sight and they said that nobody had even payed in ones before….”

    ‘Payed’, huh? Forget college. It looks like someone needs to go back to grade school.

    • Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

      I should have researched before posting. ‘Payed’ is recognized by some sources as being the same as ‘paid’, it just isn’t used as often. Isn’t the English language fun!

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      To be fair, it’s not like the student wrote the article.

      • Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

        Yup, that’s why I said ‘someone needs to’. And I just noticed ‘quit’ instead of ‘quite’. My editing skills are slipping. ;-(

  22. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    I suppose this is the lack of sleep talking but:

    $14,300 in $1 bills = $14,300 in $10 bills = $14,300 in $20 bills = $14,300 in $50 bills = $14,300 in $100 bills = $14,300 paid by check = $14,300 paid by debit*.

    He didn’t pay more than he had too he just paid in a different denomination of money. $14,300 did not suddenly become a larger amount of money just because he used a larger number of bills. What point did he make by paying in ones? What’s obvious now that wasn’t obvious before?

    (*Also credit cards if you pay it off right away but not if there’s a fee for paying with a card)

    • MrEvil says:

      Its just that 14,300 $1 bills take up a large volume. Gives you better perspective than five digits on a computer screen.

  23. Mpowered says:

    14k is cheap. 46k per year for law school.

    • AustinTXProgrammer says:

      In that case you should go with $28k, or more if you count summer. That was for one semester.

      Still cheaper than law school, but that is expected, right?

  24. tremaine says:

    It’s amazing the number of people who would apparently base their choice of school solely on geography instead of the quality of education they want. Why should this guy stay in state if the school(s) there don’t offer the courses he wants.

    I didn’t see this guy asking for a handout, or even implying that education should be free. What his ‘stunt’ does is highlight the immense cost of post-secondary education. That so many just shrug and pay the cost is … amazing. Perhaps these institutions wouldn’t be so quick to raise fees if students and parents pushed back a bit. Since they don’t, why should they restrain themselves? They can just keep increasing tuition until the cows come home, because people will just accept the lifelong debt that comes with it.

    Stop rolling over and taking it. Push back. Every other debt in your life is negotiable at the outset – cars, homes… if you don’t like the price offered, you counter offer and shop around to get the features and price you want and can afford.

  25. jebarringer says:

    “Tuition has gone up so much and there are a lot of kids who don’t have a family who can send them to school,”
    In other words, the mom wants everything to be given to everyone, and no one to have to work for anything. You can’t pay for school? Don’t go. Get a job that doesn’t require a college degree. Not everyone needs to go to college, and half those that do go don’t belong – they don’t take it seriously.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I don’t think anyone gains by not going to college simply because they couldn’t afford it. No, not everyone needs to go to college, but the ones who do and take it seriously benefit greatly, and indeed, “a mind is a terrible thing to waste.” I’ve seen friends with a lot of potential at a loss because they didn’t have the money to pay for college, and couldn’t return. I had a friend who barely scraped together the money to pay her tuition. Last I caught up with her, she’s teaching children in third world countries. I imagine that doing that, which was the result of getting a college education, is preferable than quitting because you just couldn’t afford it, and working retail.

  26. Watcher95 says:

    Her sure showed them.

  27. Hoss says:

    Sophomoric act. But good luck finding a job now. The internet never forgets

  28. lettucefactory says:

    Making the folks who work the cash office count all those bills sure made an impact! Because those people aren’t working stiffs who have nothing to do with setting tuition rates, or anything.

    College is very expensive. I would even go so far as to call it a crisis. But I do not understand the point of this young man’s actions. Yes, that is a lot of bills to count. However, any number of things you could buy will cost…a lot of bills. A car. A house. A honeymoon. A surgical procedure. Some things in life are very expensive. So what? That alone is not a very interesting statement.

    Is he trying to say that college shouldn’t be on the list of expensive things? Does he believe that he is not getting his money’s worth? If so, does he believe most students are not getting their money’s worth? Does he have suggestions for how the system should change? Does he really believe the entire university is blind to the expense of tuition? Does he understand how state budgets work in relation to higher education funding? Counting the bills makes a cute story, but it means nothing.

    • Caggeyder says:

      My European friends are shocked at the amount of tuition I have to pay to get my degree. Any money they get (after taxes obviously) they get to spend on a house or car or whathaveyou. I’d rather pay a 50% tax rate and get free education and healthcare than a 10-15% rate and get nothing in return.

      • Hi_Hello says:

        my European friend said that it’s hard, very hard for people to own a house.

        anyway, I think the idea sounds good but I don’t really want 50% of my income controlled by the government. Unless the type of people in the government changes.

        plus, do I really want to help pay for the education of people who gets barely passing grades??

        • Caggeyder says:

          Your tax money already pays for students who barely pass their classes. What irks me is I’m not eligible for financial aid until I’m 24. So for me, it’s work entry level jobs plus pay for rent/expenses and hope to save $20,000 or take out a loan.

  29. esc27 says:

    One big reason state university tuition keeps going up is because states keep cutting their education budgets. Tuition has to rise to make up for the loss in state dollars.

    Another is technology. 20 years ago the most a school needed to spend on classrooms (outside normal maintenance) is buying chalk. Now you need modern computers (4 or less years old,) projectors, document cameras, sound, vcr/dvd/blu-ray players, internet access, software, etc. All of that costs money, yearly. Even if you run equipment into the ground and use it for 8 plus years, things break and annual software licenses for some applications are not cheap.

    Where a lot of waste comes into play is rankings. Everyone wants to go up in the college rankings and the people who make those reports look for a variety of services that aren’t always needed or affordable. So you have schools creating entire new departments that weren’t necessary just to improve their standings.

    The way I see it, a state/public university has three large sources of funding. The state, tuition, and donations. State funding always decreases. Tuition only increases if the rates are changed or more students enroll and unless a university is rapidly expanding, rates are the only way to really increase this source.

    Donations are the best place to make money without raising tuition, but donors are odd. No one donates money to pay janitorial staff, repair leaks, pave roads, etc. No, donors want something fancy they can put their names on. This is why you might find several brand new, beautiful buildings on a campus that is otherwise somewhat rundown and broke. Donors like for the schools to have the special programs and ratings mentioned above in the paragraph about waste. Essentially, the best way for a school to get money is to look like it doesn’t need any.

    In general a University only has two traditional sources for money. They can either raise tuition, and/or waste money on fancy services to wow donors.

    Thankfully there are newer sources for income, but they aren’t as common. One is to make business relationships that secure better private funding for essential services, but that takes a lot of work and is different than the old way of getting donations.

    Another is to privatize and sell research and services that traditionally would be a free and public good. A lot of people hate this, but as states cut funding, benefits to the state would logically decrease and universities must become more private.

  30. stevied says:

    Sorry mom, advanced education is not an entitlement. Instead of taking out a loan (or 12), you could work your arse off after school and between semesters or even take a year or two off and save up the $.

    • Caggeyder says:

      I’m in that position now, with this job market in my area, I’m lucky that my job just barely pays my expenses. I’m now applying for a second job so I can put that into savings for university. Maybe it’s the same for him.

  31. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    In other news, apparently 45% of students don’t learn very much in the first two years of college.

    • Hi_Hello says:

      I knew I wasn’t the only one!! The first two years of college was mainly stuff I learned in my senior year of H.S!!!

  32. Hollihocks says:

    Uhhhh isn’t that the Gucci stripe on that bag? Oh the white upper middle class.

  33. Extended-Warranty says:

    The real story here is the lack of common sense of our youth. This kid paid $14,300 for one semester of school for economics. What does he plan on using that degree for?

    Then he showed them by paying the bill! Any cash office has a cash weighing machine that will count this in no time.

    Here’s an idea. Stop going to expensive schools. Hopefully, in that expensive degree, they taught you something about supply and demand?

  34. Mcshonky says:


    he has to pay for school


    he made the decision where to go and new the costs



  35. varro says:

    Dick move – it’s some schmo at the bursar’s office who has to count all the money.

    They could get revenge by using the bursar’s office to distribute counterfeit money (which is what was alleged at the University of Miami in the mid-90s – counterfeiter had GF who was a teller switch out real bills and replace with fakes – worked until fake bills popped up all over campus).

  36. cspschofield says:

    Just to throw a little sodium in the swimming pool……

    What if you didn’t NEED an (almost useless) BA to get any job with reasonable prospects of advancement? Getting a BA has little or nothing to do with the majority of white collar jobs, but companies use possession of a BA as a filter, which makes no sense whatsoever.

    My Father was a Professor for more than forty years, and one of his pet gripes was the number of people in college who had no impulse toward scholarship. I’m not saying I’m sure he is right, but I think it bears examination.

  37. Chris says:

    Is your son taking any classes? GA’s website says it’s around $8700/year for freshman tuition plus “mandatory fees” for instate students:

    I assume he also wants books, he wants to eat, live somewhere, etc. Don’t forget all these extra costs – and there is a cost to staying at home too, albeit much smaller than rent.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      It’s going to be awfully hard for this kid to live at home when he’s an OUT OF STATE STUDENT.

      • Kibit says:

        I think he’s talking about the poster who commented that her son’s in state tuition to Ga Tech is only $1800. Not the CU student from CA

  38. Rebecca K-S says:

    Um. People are already aware of the rising cost of tuition. It’s not like some secret underground nonsense.

  39. bwcbwc says:

    Proving that the internet did not invent trolls.

    At least he’s a troll with a valid point.

  40. njack says:

    The kid is from CA, looking at out of state tuition for a comparable school in CA, the tuition is over $17k. This is a non story except the kid made a doosh move by paying in singles.

    Now if you want to talk about how ridiculous the cost is per semester for out of state students, that’s another topic, but CU isn’t alone in this.

  41. Kate says:

    That has to include dorm and food costs. My daughter goes to the University of California and her semester cost is about 10,000.

    • Rebecca K-S says:

      The cost of tuition in California has no bearing on the cost of tuition in Colorado. The base tuition per semester at that school is precisely $14K for out of state tuition.

      • Rebecca K-S says:

        Brought to you by the Department of Redundancy Department.

      • Kate says:

        I dunno, when we were researching colleges, the UC system was on the most expensive including out of state for University of Minnesota.

        I have no idea why a colorado college would be that much.

  42. flip says:


  43. jcargill says:

    Even if he brought it in 20s he’d still have needed a bag. $14K for one semester, at a state school is an outrage.

    When I was in community college in 1986-1988, I always paid tuition in cash, as it was usually about $100. My books always cost more than my tuition.

  44. Mold says:

    Pwecious Pwince Snowfwake has to pay icky tuition…ewww.
    Stunt. Pwecious Pwince Snowfwake is a jerkhole. He gets off having underpaid employees deal with his whine.
    Wrapped or not, someone had to sit and count each bill.
    Moms should have been upset when st reagan cut funding for education. Also, didn’t Moms have, like, nearly twenty years to plan for Pwince Snowfwake’s college?

  45. 6T9 says:

    If you can’t afford it, don’t go.

    • Caggeyder says:

      The problem is even at cheap, state colleges and universities, tuition is skyrocketing. I read one really interesting article describing the majority of the blame on the fact that student loans are non-discharable. Universities are raising tuition far faster now than ever because they know students will simply take out a loan to finance their education. If a student had to be qualified for a loan, like the house and car loans, the rate that students borrow money would drop considerably, students would find other means, such as working though school or taking time off to save money for college. Then schools would be forced to lower their tuition, to capture the money of these students. Perhaps the government would provide more tax credit to these people as well, encouraging people to save up for school, rather than borrowing a huge amount of money right out of high school.
      To quote one article, ” If not for the easy student loan money sloshing around, many colleges would go belly up tomorrow.”

  46. Bad_Brad says:

    What was the transaction like at the bank before this? That must have been one very friendly and patient bank teller. “Uh, yes, I’d like to withdraw $14,000 cash, please. And by the way, can I get that in singles?”

    Actually, if he withdrew the $14,000 in one fell swoop from one bank, he would be subject to federal currency reporting requirements, which would take even more time to complete. I suppose he probably spread it out, at least over a few withdrawals.

  47. JustMyPOV says:

    I have one in college, and next year it’ll be two. So I sympathize. But I doubt Ramos’ stunt will make any difference in tuition costs. They’ll keep going up. I can only hope my boys get a job while in school. That would help. A little.

  48. Duckula22 says:

    $14,000, ridiculous! How do they come up with how much to charge? Do they charge based on potential future earnings? “Don’t worry, you’ll make lots of money when you graduate.” It would explain why seemingly more lucrative careers have higher tuition fees, such as Law, Medicine, just to name a couple.

  49. ThisIsAdamB says:

    I once paid an undeserved NY State DMV fine with $200 worth of non-consecutive, not-all-facing-the-same-way two dollar bills. My symbolic protest was overshadowed by the chorus of “Ooooh, I’m gonna take some of these home for the grand-kids” coming from the women working at the DMV office.

    I guess it can be more effective on a larger scale….

  50. UncleAl says:
  51. sprocket79 says:

    Cry me a river. He chose to go there, so I don’t feel sorry for him at all. Nor do I feel sorry for myself and my giant pile of loans from the private university that I went to – that cost more! It’s a choice. There are other options if you don’t want to spend the money.

  52. kiki1 says:

    You are my hero.

  53. WickedCrispy says:

    I’d have done it in pennies.

  54. Chaosium says:

    Guy really sounds like an entitled douche. But, his parents raised him to be such…

    “There are a lot of children who have to pay for their own education, who have to take out loans.”

    But not you, because you’re rich enough to give your kid cash money.

  55. Bella_dilo17 says:

    And my high school tuition is the same price.

  56. Fjord says:

    This is nothing, I’ve probably dollied more than $25k worth of coins to my local branch here. Every time they see me they cringe.

  57. carlogesualdo says:

    The clerks do have to count it – they aren’t a bank and their methods aren’t the same, so yes, it is more work for them. And yes, they’re doing this at the same time everyone else is paying their tuition, so it is a lot of work. And if I know higher ed employees like I do, they grumbled about it. However, it raises a discussion, so it has the desired effect, considering discussion and debate are a big part of the educational process. It’s a good discussion too. When I started college, my tuition and fees for 18 hours of courses amounted to around $650. Now that I’m working on a second degree, my tuition and fees for 7 hours (less than half the hours) costs more than double: around $1500. And no, it hasn’t been THAT many years since freshman year.

  58. WR says:

    McCollege is a joke.

    Federal aid has artificially inflated tuition. Stop Fed Aid and the price will go down

    If I gave you $100.00 every time you had a aflat ire I would suspect you would find some nails to run over…