Soon-To-Be Michigan Graduate Sells Ad Space on Graduation Cap to Repay Loans


Graduates are normally on the lookout for part time jobs besides their regular work to repay student loans as quickly as possible. Alex Benda, a soon-to-be graduate of the University of Michigan, has however come up with an interesting idea to repay his $30,000 education loan.

"It's scary to think I'm about to go out into this economy and try to find a job and have all this debt I'll have to start paying," said Benda of St. Clair, Mich. "I started thinking, 'Do I have anything available I could sell?'", USA Today reports.

Benda, a 22-year-old Flint international business major, is selling 1-inch by 1-inch ad space on top of his graduation cap for $300 each.

"You can advertise on it, give a shout out, put a quote, a silly image of your cat, practically anything! All while helping a graduating college student start his life without student debt" Benda said. "I graduate May 4th so time is running out!" However, he said that he will not be selling space for offensive advertisements.

As of Friday afternoon, Benda has raised $1,200 on a crowd-sourcing website, but none of them have made a pledge on the squares. If he is able to sell all the 100 squares, Benda will not default on his debt.

With this unique approach of repaying his loan, Benda says he will definitely attract every graduating student and their family's attention while walking across the stage to accept his diploma.

"I aspire to be an entrepreneur and love out of the box thinking to solve everyday problems," Benda wrote on the website.

Benda's crusade to pay off his college loan reflects the true situation of all students in the country. Student loan debts of $1.2 trillion in the U.S. are higher than that of credit cards. Michigan is ranked 10th in the list of U.S. states for debt load. In the state of Michigan, 62 percent of the students graduate with debt, while it is 71 percent at U-M-Flint. At the University, the average loan amount is $26,899 that is lower than the state average of $28,840.

Benda, the youngest of six children has been brought up in a military family. While his siblings joined the military, he always wanted to try out a true college experience.

In order to pay for college, he initially took up several part-time jobs including one as a photographer and in the student newspaper. Since he could not gather enough money, he decided to take a loan.

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