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Tuition in $1 bills: 2,000 singles used to dispute rising college costs in Utah

A single dollar bill, used to pay tuition
A single dollar bill, used to pay tuition
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Tuition in $1 bills? Such a purposeful and laborious payment was indeed made by a University of Utah student this week in paying his school tuition bill with over 2,000 singles to dispute the ever rising college costs he and other students continue to face this 2014. The silent protest has certainly made a statement that has garnered attention from the rest of the U.S. nation this week, and Boston News shares this Wednesday, Jan. 22, that the peaceful protester even waited until Tuesday — the very last day to do so — to make a payment.

Paying tuition in $1 bills might sound outrageous at first, but it is all part of University of Utah student Luq Mughal’s attempt to make a powerful statement to the school and the public at large. He arrived to his college campus this Tuesday morning carrying a metal case stuffed full of $1 bills. After waiting until the very cusp of the deadline, Mughal went on to hand over 2,000 of the individual greenbacks to the Office of the Bursar.

The student who wanted to dispute the rising cost of college said that he had planned this out over a week before the deadline, grabbing the $1 bills in cash from a number of local banks over the course of several days.

According to the press release, Mughal paying tuition in singles isn’t meant to showcase only his own hefty financial costs, but that of his fellow students as well. In fact, the 21-year-old student is said to get a special discount due to his father being a faculty member at the University of Utah, and notes that his particular payment plan is likely less than a lot of other campus students. Nonetheless, Mughal states he works every weekend to help pay for school in order to earn his electrical engineering degree.

The protesting 21-year-old hopes that his silent but clever statement using 2,000 in-cash greenbacks will make the school rethink how much money they are making students actually pay each semester away at college.

“Undergraduate in-state tuition rates have more than doubled in Utah over the past 10 years. Trustees set a 5 percent tuition hike this year, saying they needed to fund a cost-of-living raise for employees as state funding declines.”

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