He gets an A for effort

In the midst of the New York State budget mess, brought to us by the credit crisis-fueled melt down on Wall Street, the State University system made the decision to raise tuition in the middle of the budget year.  The leaves every student facing a larger bill this winter, even while the institutions themselves are cutting back on services to make ends meet.

One UAlbany student chose to handle his shortfall in a rather creative way:

The e-mail solicitation looked like yet another cyberhoax. It wasn’t.

There really is a Nicholas Szwaba — a bitter University at Albany biology major with a $310 budget gap, courtesy of the State University of New York’s mid-year tuition hike.

But instead of forking it over, the 21-year-old from Staten Island fired up his PayPal account. He e-mailed more than 5,000 people this week, many of them UAlbany faculty and staff, asking each for $5 toward the increase.

And the total reward for his entrepreneurship? Not one cent.

Read the rest of the story here.

For the record, I agree with Nicholas Szwaba – it’s unfair to raise tuition mid-year.  In fact, it may be a breach of the agreement made with each student at the outset of the academic year, upon which their financial aid and attendant borrowing was based.

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