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Tuition in $1 Bills: Student Protests Rising Cost by Paying in Cash

By Alexandra Ward   |   Thursday, 23 Jan 2014 07:15 AM

A University of Utah student fed up with the rising cost of education decided to stick it to the man this week by paying his tuition in $1 bills – as in a metal briefcase full of 2,000 single dollar bills. 

On Tuesday, 21-year-old Luq Mughal presented the dollar bills  to a clerk at the Student Services building in a silent protest of the university's tuition cost, which has more than doubled over the last 10 years for in-state students.

"I had to pull some serious strings to even get everything to pay for my tuition this semester, and I wanted it to feel worthwhile," he told the Daily Utah Chronicle. "I decided that . . . I would feel a little better if I did it like that."

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Mughal, who's studying electrical engineering, told The Salt Lake Tribune that the crushing expenses require him to work on the weekends to pay for classes — and that's after the discount he gets for being the son of a faculty member.

"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."

Tuition for in-state students jumped from $2,742 during the 2002-03 school year to $6,511 this year, according to The Tribune. What's more, the cost of a University of Utah education shot up 5 percent alone from 2012 to 2013 in order to give employees a cost-of-living raise.

When asked about the cost of tuition, university spokeswoman Maria O'Mara said that the school regularly ranks high for good value for the money.

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