Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Sunday, September 23, 2018

Satire: AU launches sweethearts campaign celebrating the love between alumni and their college debt

If I had gone to my local state college, I never would have found this kind of commitment

Satire: AU launches sweethearts campaign celebrating the love between alumni and their college debt

Clarification appended.

The following piece is satire and should not be misconstrued for actual reporting. Any resemblance to a student, staff or faculty member is coincidental.

American University Alumni Association recently launched a campaign celebrating the nearly 2,500 couples that met during their time at AU, and no couple seems more likely to remain together forever than AU alumni and their college debt.

The campaign, which would culminate in a large social media project, collects stories from couples that met at AU. Applicants simply need to fill out an online form and tell the story of how they met in order to be featured in the AU alumni sweethearts Facebook album. The album will present hundreds of pictures of happy AU couples who have built their lives together after graduation. Here at AU, some of the strongest relationships have been built between students and their debt.

“I first met my college debt right before the start of my freshman year,” said a recent alum. “When I decided to attend American University, I knew I couldn’t get through it alone. So I contacted my bank and next thing you know, I’ve met my best friend for life.”

Tuition costs of American University vary depending on housing and dining arrangements, but in general, AU costs undergraduate students about $60,000 per year. These prices create the perfect environment for students to meet their future sweethearts.

“Oh yes, I absolutely love my debt,” another former student said in a strained voice. “What’s not to love about being forced to make debt payments for the next 30 years of my life? Why, I can’t wait for our 50-year anniversary, because this sure isn’t going away any time soon.”

The alum then broke down in tears, overwhelmed with love for their AU sweetheart.

Given the cost of tuition at American University, the 2018 sweethearts campaign will likely be just as much of a success as in years past. According to the Project on Student Debt Report, American University was among the top-20 colleges that students leave with the most debt, the average amount being $40,966. The report also found that 54 percent of AU students graduate with some amount of debt. As a result, the happy union between AU students and their college debt continues to thrive with no end in sight.

Below is a full interview with Emma Americana, class of 2011, to tell her sweetheart story.

EAGLE: Describe how you met and your first impressions of each other.

EA: We met right before the start of my freshman year. I didn’t think it’d be around for that long, and I was kind of looking for a short term thing to help me get through my first few semesters. But it stuck around, and I’ve never been happier. We’re definitely in it for the long term.

EAGLE: Describe your first date.

EA: We didn’t necessarily have a first date. My debt just managed to work its way into my life slowly. I knew I’d have to apply for loans in order to go to college here, but I did not expect for this to turn into a lifelong commitment. So while we didn’t really have a first date.

EAGLE: What’s your favorite AU memory together?

EA: Oh, definitely not being able to go out to dinner with my friends, because I was too concerned about college debt payments. While everyone else got to have fun exploring the city, I got to spend many nights stressing about my college debt. It was great.

EAGLE: Anything else you’d like to add?

EA: We’ve been happily married for a year now! I proposed a year and a half ago, couldn’t afford a ring, of course, because all my money goes to my debt, but that’s fine. All that matters is that my debt is committed to me forever, and that’s what is really important in life. I’m so happy that AU gave me the opportunity to find my lifelong sweetheart! If I had gone to my local state college, I never would have found this kind of commitment.

Lauren Patetta is a freshman in the School of Communication. She is an outside contributor. The opinions expressed by the author are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Eagle and its staff.

Clarification: This article has been updated to clarify that the debt figures mentioned above reflect data from AU's class of 2009.

opinion@theeagleonline.com


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