True Fact: Bentley University, in Waltham, MA, has become one of the first schools in the nation to accept cryptocurrency (including bitcoin) for tuition payments (Bentley website, May 3rd).
Not to be outdone, Babson College, in nearby Wellesley, will offer tuition credit in exchange for velvet Elvis paintings beginning in January 2023.
“The value of Elvis collectibles cannot be overstated,” says Babson President Stephen Spinelli, Jr. “Trust me, Babson is going to become the Graceland of New England. Bentley, your bitcoins can bite me.”
Following the lead of these two institutions, other schools are entering the “Alternatives to Cash” tuition sweepstakes. Here’s a sample:
Wayne State University: Will accept mint-condition Topps baseball cards depicting famous Detroit Tigers (a 1953 Al Kaline rookie card will cover the cost of a bachelor’s degree plus one graduate certificate).
Fordham University: Feral cats can now be used to pay all tuition and fees. (“We desperately need something that can kill the giant sewer rats infesting our campus.”)
University of Oregon: “Fresh, unbruised fruit is always welcome. As we like to say, ‘Give us 10 apples and we’ll give you 3 credits’.”
Princeton Theological Seminary: An authenticated, autographed photo of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph immediately after the arrival of the Magi at the manger in Bethlehem will pay for a semester’s stay in the residence halls. (“We know that such photos exist, but people tend to hoard them,” says President M. Craig Barnes.)
U. S. Coast Guard Academy: “Provide us with a fully loaded nuclear submarine, and the place is yours. We want to blow stuff up. Why should the other military academies have all the fun?”
Northern Michigan University: Socks. Warm socks. LOTS of warm socks. (“It gets so freaking cold in Marquette in the winter,” says President Kerri Schuiling. “Our dimmer students misplace their socks all the time. Pay us in socks. Please.”)
University of Miami: Gator-B-Gone reptile repellent is accepted currency for all charges. (“It’s dangerous to have intoxicated students passing out on the quad at night during alligator mating season. We intend to install dispensers of hand-sanitizing repellent across the entire campus this summer. Problem solved.”)
Conventional currency. It’s so OVER.