UofM-Flint student sells space on graduation cap to pay off debt - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

UofM-Flint student sells space on graduation cap to pay off college debt

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(01/20/14) - Figuring out how to pay off your college debt can be consuming.

Alex Benda, a University of Michigan-Flint business student, is selling space on his graduation cap to bring in some cash.

If all goes planned, Benda could walk off that stage in May debt free.

"I figured, if everybody is looking at me, I could sell advertising on top of my hat and that way it's mutually beneficial," Benda said.  "I could try and maybe cut away at some of my college debt and help out local businesses."

Benda, a fifth year senior from St. Clair, hopes to hack away some $30,000 in student debt using his hat - his graduation cap.

"I've got 100 square inches to work with so I divided it by my debt," he said.  "That's $300 an inch. No one in their right mind is going to pay $300 an inch, but I went with it anyway and it's amazing the way people have responded the way they have."

Benda has an online fundraiser set up, see it HERE, and his story is spreading.

He said he first got the idea about six months ago, playing off how NASCAR uses advertising and sponsorships and another college competition he had heard about.

Benda, in full disclosure, has free tuition and a small stipend this school year as Editor in Chief of his college newspaper.

He said he had one scholarship his first year.

Benda comes from a large family and said he's paying his own way even starting his own photography business at 16 to contribute to the cost.

At last check Monday afternoon, Benda had raised $1,275 raised, but hadn't sold any full blocks.

You don't have to be a business to buy the space.  Benda said he'll add whatever you want, as long as it's not offensive, sexual or crude, and is promising things like high fives and hand written thank you notes as returns on your investment.

ABC12 checked with a university spokesman who said there's nothing prohibiting students from "blinging" out their caps.


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