An American student has decided to make his own personal stand against the cost of a university education.
Nic Ramos, an economics student at the University of Colorado at Boulder, paid the entirety of his spring semester tuition fees in one-dollar bills.
Ramos handed over all $14 309.51 on Friday to the University Bursar’s Office in a duffle bag weighing in excess of 13 kilograms. A spokesperson told the New York Times, it took 3 dismayed tellers almost an hour to count all of Ramos’s fees.
“It kind of started as a joke,” Ramos explained to the New York Times. “But when I thought about it more,” he said, “it’s just an absurd amount of money. I wanted to give the school a different way to look at tuition.”
Ramos himself is an out-of-state student and therefore is not facing rising fees. Such students have their fees capped for the duration of their degree.
However, by his own calculations, each hour of class costs him $65 at the present time. To demonstrate to the University just how much an education costs, he spent weeks withdrawing cash from several banks in preparation for his grand gesture.
Ramos told the Daily Camera, his university’s newspaper, that students often lose sight of how much the privilege of an education actually costs. “When you have that many bills in front of you, it puts things in perspective,” he explained.
According to the University spokesperson, this is the first time a payment in cash has ever been made in the history of the University.
Fees at the University of Colorado have been rising across the board for years. This reflects a general trend across the United States where an education (including living expenses) costs, on average, $26,273 a year. This figure is up five percent on the previous year.
While in the UK fee rises are met by mass uproar, Ramos’s protest is not typical of the US where tuition fees are not a major, controversial issue.