Updated 02:34 AM EDT, Thu, Aug 28, 2014
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University of Utah Student Holds Silent Protest Against Tuition Hikes, Pays School $2,000 in Single Dollar Bills

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The Esparanza Fund offers scholarship opportunities for high school graduates who are immigrants, or the first-generation children of two immigrants,to attend publci colleges. (Photo : Flickr)

To make a statement about the rising cost of college tuition, a University of Utah student decided to pay his tuition bill with 2,000 one-dollar bills.

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Luq Mughal brought a metal briefcase full of singe dollar bills to the school campus in Salt Lake City Tuesday to make the payment after collecting the cash from several banks.

The 21-year-old student said he spends his weekends working to pay for his tuition after spending 12-hour days working towards his electrical engineering degree, reports the Associated Press. He added that even with the discount he gets because his father is a member of the faculty, the cost of tuition combined with fees, books and living expenses is overbearing.

"By no means am I the saddest story on campus. There's a lot of people here just as bad and probably worse," he told The Salt Lake Tribune. "The people making the prices are not actually aware of how hard it is on the students."

Mughal says he is hoping that his cash payment will send a message and encourage more students to join him in his silent protest next year.

Over the past decade, undergraduate in-state tuition at the school has more than doubled from $2,742 in the 2002-03 school year to $6,511 this year. Trustees set a 5 percent hike for this school year as a means to primarily to give employees a cost-of-living raise as public funding from the state declines.

Maria O'Mara, a spokesperson from the school, added that the college has been frequently ranked as a good value for the money, and that administrators are continuing to work to keep tuition low.

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