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August 20, 2013 3:30 PM Ball State University’s Priorities

By Daniel Luzer

Indiana’s Ball State University has for years run a special contest during “Welcome Week” for incoming freshmen: a student who can make a basket from half-court gets free tuition for a semester. No one’s ever won the prize. This year an 18-year-old incoming freshman from Frankfort, Ill., Markus Burden made the shot. That’s an $11,000 discount.

That’s pretty awesome for him. “It was an overwhelming feeling,” said Burden. He called his mother, happy to inform her that she’s be saving a ton of cash. “It just gives us a lot of breathing room right now,” the student explained.

Meanwhile, a young woman from Detroit, Alyssia Akers, also an incoming freshman at Ball State, had to take to the Internet to crowd source her tuition money to pay for college.

Her Ball State financial aid package left her with $15,000 in unmet need. She is the first member of her family to attend college and her father, who is unemployed, has bad credit and is unable to co-sign for her student loans.

Way to go Ball State. Way to go.

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer

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