To pay tuition, students sell all kinds of things, from lattes at Starbucks to their own bodies (for medical trials). But Alex Jasiulek has sold–or mortgaged–something new: the 10 years of his life after graduation, U.S. News reports. Through junior year, Jasiulek, a Columbia University senior, had received $19,000 from a company called Lumni and agreed to pay about 3.7 percent of the salary he earns–no matter how high it goes–for a decade after graduation. If he doesn’t have a job, or if he’s earning less than 200 percent of the poverty line, he doesn’t pay anything, temporarily. The payback percentage varies by perceived earning potential and size of the award, but the term is always 120 working months.
“You hear these horror stories about people who are 50” and still paying back their student loans, says Jasiulek, who has about $20,000 in Stafford loans and expects to get more from Lumni. “That’s not going to happen here.”