Emily Stutz is begging to get into college—as in really begging. On Saturday, the high school senior from Lowell, Mass., was at a shopping center holding a sign that read: "H.S. Senior. No $ for College. Anything helps," reports CBS Boston. "My first day outside Target was extremely successful," Stutz writes on her GoFundMe page, which has raised over $14,000 toward the 18-year-old's $30,000 goal. Stutz, who aspires to become a doctor, says she's held a GPA of between 4.0 and 4.5 throughout high school and has worked multiple jobs. She's been offered $11,000 to $18,000 in financial aid from prospective schools, but the price is still steep and her parents don't have the means to help, she writes. "I see my dream of becoming a doctor slip further and further away," she says.
Stutz says she was inspired by seeing others panhandle: "Countless times when they are told to get a job, they respond they make more standing there so why should they? So I'm going to try it." Stutz isn't the first to rely on the kindness of strangers to fund a college education. Back in 1987, Mike Hayes, an 18-year-old University of Illinois freshman, devised a plan to solicit 2.8 million one-cent donations to raise $28,000 for tuition for four years, reports NPR, which revisited the story in 2014. Hayes teamed up with popular Chicago Tribune columnist Bob Greene, who wrote about Hayes' plan. The publicity apparently did the trick. In a 1991 follow-up, Hayes told Greene he received 2.9 million pennies, adding: "This whole thing has been very goofy." (Here are the top cities for college grads.)