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Tuition in $1 bills: Student protests high schooling costs with singles

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University of Utah student Luq Mughal believes that the cost of a good education is too high, but that doesn't mean he is going to stop getting one. He wanted to make a statement though and Yahoo News reported on Jan. 22, 2014, that he did that by paying his tuition in $1 bills.

All $2,000 of it.

Mughal said he did this as a protest against the rising tuition rates, and he wants to make a statement.

The 21-year-old student spends weekends working to pay for college in which he often spends 12 hours studying to become an electrical engineer. He said that the cost of tuition plus fees, books, and living expenses is just too much and that's even with his father being a member of the faculty which gets him a discount.

“By no means am I the saddest story on campus. There's a lot of people here just as bad and probably worse,” he said. “The people making the prices are not actually aware of how hard it is on the students.”

He insists that he wasn't trying to make life hard for anyone by paying his tuition in $1 bills. He simply wanted to make a point that it really is a lot of money and that point is more easily made with lots of physical cash than just a swipe of a credit card.

“When you spend cash, you feel every dollar that you hand over to someone else,” Mughal said. “You feel that you’re losing that. If you just swipe your card, it could be 10,000 or 100,000 bucks and you don’t really feel it. When you actually slide over a huge pile of cash, you really feel like you’ve spent that. That’s your money, and you also want to make that worthwhile by doing well in school.”

Mughal said he doesn't want attention from anyone for himself or even to be famous. He hopes that other students will join him next semester so that the school and other institutions can get the idea of what they're trying to prove.

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