While tuition increases in Britain prompted violent protests last month, rising college fees rarely elicit more than shrugs among most students in the United States.
But on Friday, a sophomore at the University of Colorado, Boulder, found a symbolic way to strike back.
The student, Nic Ramos, paid his entire spring semester tuition - all $14,309.51 of it - using dollar bills, a 50-cent piece and a penny.
"It kind of started as a joke," said Ramos, an economics major.
"But when I thought about it more," he said, "it's just an absurd amount of money. I wanted to give the school a different way to look at tuition."
It took Ramos two days to withdraw the money from several banks. He said that when he walked into the bursar's office Friday morning with a 33-pound duffel bag full of cash, the tellers were stunned.
According to a university spokesman, Bronson Hilliard, it took three people nearly an hour to count the money.
While tuition at the university has risen in recent years, it has not increased for Ramos.
Being from Sacramento, he pays the out-of-state rate, which remains the same for all four years.
Hilliard said no student in the past decade had tried to pay tuition with bills.