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Last week The Dolphin ran a front page story about the cost of college tuition and student debt. I would like to expand the conversation and provide some information that was not explored in last week’s article.
It is a brutal fact that to get a Bachelor’s Degree, you need money. You either have to work for it, borrow it, or both. I did the latter. The student loans are the worst. The folks that lend you the money actually expect that you pay it back. I was an English major. So in other words, it took me a year and a half after graduation to find a job, and it was a job I hated. I’m happy to report I did pay off my student loans, but they were fully paid the year my son graduated from high school. The same year I cosigned for his first student loan.
While I was perusing the internet the other day, I saw an article titled, “Eight extreme ways to avoid college debt.” Since everything on the internet is true, I’ve decided to share this with you:
The first one was a bit confusing…it recommended that you declare yourself an “Emancipated Minor.” This would bypass any parental income in figuring the amount of aid for which you would qualify. But, you’d have to do this before you turn 18. Maybe there’s still a few freshmen who could try this one out. Let me know how it works, if it works.
There are two other ways that you could prove an emancipated status. One is to get married. The catch here is that your spouse needs to be as broke as you. Based on personal experience of eating countless variations of rice and pasta during our first few years of marital bliss, both my wife and I do not recommend this method. The other way is join the military. I have the greatest respect for anyone who is willing to put the safety of his or her family, town, state, and country above their own. The military offers financial support for education and you’ll earn every dime.
I really like this next one: you can go on welfare. According to this source, if you have a work study job or a regular job where you average 20 hours a week you can get food stamps up to $200 a month.
The next one is just plain silly. Quit living in a dorm or apartment and live in your car. I’m not kidding, that was suggested. However, living in a car is ridiculous. A VW bus on the other hand, now that makes some sense to me.
This next one is intriguing. Guys, pay attention to this quote, “An average sperm donor can earn as much as $1,200 a month.” That’s the good news. Here’s the bad news (again, I’m not kidding), to get this you need to be tall white, blonde, have perfect SAT scores, and carry a 4.0. There is no mention of these criteria for the ladies. They have their own good news/bad news equation…
Ladies, here is a quote to get your attention, “Female students can get up $10,000 for an egg donation.” As always, there is a “but.” To harvest an ovum, the donor is subject to a number of injections, hormone therapy, and invasive surgery. I admittedly do not know, nor will ever have the female point of view, but ladies, this seems like a bit much.
The last one on the list though, this one has possibilities. If while in high school and here at Le Moyne you have acquired a working fluency in a foreign language, consider studying abroad. The article said that tuition and living costs are much lower.
Upon reflection I guess that most of these ideas, except maybe the last, are marginal at best, crazy at worst. I guess work and loans aren’t all that bad after all.
Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures