Student Pays for College with Rebates

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Don't believe in rebates? This guy paid for $3,500 in college tuition with rebates from everyday items he purchased (and often resold) online.

He’s no Robin Hood, but he does rebate from the rich (companies) to give to the poor (himself).

Business Insider has the story of Jonathan Hood, a PhD student who paid three quarters of a semester’s tuition with rebate offers…

“On a weekday, I usually have about two or three debit cards or rebate checks coming in,” he said. “[Stores] usually have at least one item come up online that’s free with a rebate, usually two or three. I’ll purchase the item, save the UPC code and mail it in with the receipt.”

He shops exclusively online, trolling message boards on deals site to find rebate offers he may have missed. It was tips from Fatwallet members that led him to deals at and that helped cover his tuition.

There’s nothing speedy about the process. It takes as many as four and a half months before he even sees a rebate, and some companies have strict guidelines for rebate submissions. Forget to circle the proper item on your receipt in some cases and you could instantly be denied.

On top of going to school, he works full-time – so it’s not like he spends his whole day doing this. He’s just been doing it for years, very methodically. He learns the rules and has the patience to wait months for the check to come in, going so far as to write himself a computer program to track outstanding rebates.


Stacy Johnson

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