It’s no secret that it costs A LOT of money to go to school. Between tuition, textbooks, room & board, meal plans, and bar tabs, students and their parents shell out big bucks for a four-year university degree. But what if your college actually paid you not to go? It sounds impossible, but is actually a very real scenario for current high-school seniors planning on attending Ithaca College in the fall.
Ithaca accidentally over-enrolled their newest freshman class…by 20%. To fix the problem, they dropped $2.5 mil on a new dorm (built in just 6 weeks…impressive!) and are offering various incentives to make room for the extra students. Upperclassmen are being offered $2,000 to move to off-campus housing, and admitted freshman are being offered a whopping $10,000 to defer enrollment for a year, either by studying abroad or just taking a gap year at home.
I’ll admit that this offer would tempt me. I’ve unfortunately had to sacrifice studying abroad for financial reasons, so the thought of my school basically paying me to do so is amazing. Even so, I don’t think I’d take the money. Coming in late makes it harder to make friends and adjust, even if other people are in the same boat. Plus, the thought of living at home for a year after high school and working my minimum-wage job while my friends packed up and left is kinda depressing. No, very depressing. At the same time, I don’t think I’d be ready to spend a semester in a foreign country my first time leaving home at 18!
Mostly though, it’s because freshman year only happens once, and I wouldn’t trade it for any amount of money. During that year, I met the people who are my best friends to this day. I learned how to live with a roommate in a 2×4 box and share a bathroom with 12 other girls. I learned that playing flip cup with wine is a terrible idea and that spooning is not that easy in a twin bed.
Apparently I’m not the only one with this opinion, as only 31 students have accepted the offer so far.
What do you guys think? Would you take the money?