Print

News >> Browse Articles >> Controversies & Scandals

+11

PhD Student Pays Tuition with Mail-In Rebates

PhD Student Pays Tuition with Mail-In Rebates

Student pays tuition bill with mail-in rebates.

By Kathryn Knight Randolph

September 13, 2012

Students are really outdoing themselves these days and getting creative with how they pay their tuition bills and loan balances. Jonathan Hood, a PhD student at Auburn University, is the next in a string of students bucking the system and paying on his own terms.

Hood is now making headlines for paying a semester of tuition solely through money he has received for mail-in rebates on products, according to Business Insider. He told Yahoo! Finance, “Tuition for this semester was $4,500. I paid over $2,500 of it with prepaid debit cards [from rebates] and a little over $1,000 of it with rebate checks.”

In an interview with Business Insider, Hood explained that he began using mail-in rebates as a means for paying bills when he was just 15. He states, “My dad kind of got me hooked. We stood in line early in the morning [on Black Friday] and I found out then I could get the [video] games I wanted for either really cheap or for free [with mail-in-rebates].” From there, he graduated to paying his cell phone bill entirely through rebates, which he’s maintained for two solid years now, reports Yahoo! Finance.

So how does Hood do it?

He told Yahoo! Finance that he shops exclusively online and specifically on sites like FatWallet.com, Newegg.com and Frys.com. Hood then buys the product, collects the rebate and either resells on eBay or donates the product to his church.

Yes, technically, Hood is spending money to get money, but there is a payoff in the end that obviously benefits Hood. He explained the calculations to Yahoo! Finance in great detail:

“My average rebate takes 11 minutes to fill out and cash, and is for $40. My envelopes and pens were free after rebate, so their cost is negligible. For this $40 rebate, I use a 2% cash-back credit card to purchase the item ($0.80 profit) and receive anywhere from 0-5% using FatCash from Fatwallet or a similar service. Stamp price is $0.45. Then, I turn around and sell the item on eBay for an average profit of $11.91 after shipping and taxes per item.”

While it typically takes about four months to receive the rebate, Hood claims that he has two or three prepaid debit cards or rebate checks coming in each weekday, according to Yahoo! Finance. And even though tuition is paid for this semester, he’s already started saving up rebate checks for next semester.


+11
  • Photo_user_blank_big

    jumanisu

    over 1 year ago

    20 comments

    my buddy's mom makes $62 hourly on the laptop. She has been without a job for 7 months but last month her check was $15548 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on this site http://www.Cloud65.com

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Hisbrat2009

    almost 2 years ago

    2 comments

    I think that this is very intellegent way to earn money to pay for your own way threw school. At the sametime it shows how he still uses what he learned from his father as a young man. In this economy it takes alot to be able to stay focused on goin to school and trying to save money to pay your own way threw college. Some arent as fortunate to get grants or help. I want to thank you for posting this because it gave me some ideas on how I can do the same to go school.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Cheytown123

    almost 2 years ago

    2 comments

    False. In this economy it is becoming more and more difficult to get funding as a PHD student no matter what program. Programs are more competitive because of it.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    maggiemena

    almost 2 years ago

    2 comments

    New Way to Pay Tuition

Recent Activity

Photo_user_blank_big
cscsetstyle9 commented on: "cscset Style", 8 minutes ago.
Photo_user_blank_big
cscsetstyle9 commented on: "cscset Style", 8 minutes ago.
Photo_user_blank_big
cscsetstyle9 commented on: "cscset Style", 9 minutes ago.
Photo_user_blank_big
cscsetstyle9 commented on: "cscset Style", 9 minutes ago.
Photo_user_blank_big
cscsetstyle9 commented on: "cscset Style", 10 minutes ago.