$100,000 Harvard Pay Toilets

Toilet_bowl : Several hundred dollar bills in a toilet bowl about to be flushed Stock Photo

Aging & Attitude

I sit in a doctor’s office waiting room. After about twenty minutes, annoyed with myself for not bringing a book, search the magazine rack and decide upon an issue of Time, dated March 12th. The news is still new to me, I have not read the magazine. In the business section, a small heading grabs my attention.

     $100,000  Pay Toilets Your Name Here

I am familiar with naming opportunities; a benefactor donates a huge chunk of change and a building is named for him.

The good news jumps across the page, millions are no longer necessary. A one hundred thousand dollar donation will get your name on something …a toilet. I continue to read looking for the punch line. It is not a joke.

The article by Josh Sanburn states, “It’s a strategy more universities are employing to raise cash in this strapped economy.”  And cites the University of Pennsylvania as an example. “Plaques saying, ‘This relief you are now experiencing is made possible by a gift from Michael Zinman’, line its bathroom walls.”

Naming toilets is deemed a win-win situation, grab extra tissue to laugh while you pee.

Sanburn explains the benefits to the benefactor, it is affordable, and for the university; necessary because “state government funding dropped nearly 8% last year nationwide”.

The genius who thought of this probably sold the Brooklyn Bridge, too. It gets better.

A recent NPR interview discusses the role of merit scholarships in raising college costs.

A merit scholarship is not awarded for brains or talent. Robert Massa, a vice president at Lafayette says. “The primary reason for awarding a non-need-based merit scholarship is to change a student’s enrollment decision from another institution to our institution. That’s why colleges do it.”

The toilet naming opportunity is not mentioned specifically, however, I speculate NPR will be interviewing Michael Zinman, his name appears on a throne.

Merit scholarships are getting bigger as each college competes for the best students.

Confused? Relax, you do not have to pay to pee at Harvard or Lafayette, yet. Peeing is still free.

Massa continues, “On top of that, the school gives need-based grants to many students. A majority of students get grants of some kind — fewer than 50 percent actually pay the full sticker price.”

The tuition increases.

Colleges pay students more than they need to come to their college and off set the cost by having  students who can pay more.

Now the need for naming toilets makes sense, it covers the difference.

Will people be impressed when you brag, Granddaddy has a bathroom named for him at Harvard Law School, or wonder, whatever?

                                                      …Just Saying

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