One UCSB graduate student is relying on campus Cookie Monsters to save her from college debt by dishing out some dough and buying one of her 4,000 pastries.
Angela Courtright, a graduate student in education, said she was recently granted an extension to pay off the $4,000 in college fees that have prevented her from obtaining a doctorate. In order to accumulate enough funds by her Nov. 15 fee deadline, Courtright said she decided to bake and sell 4,000 cookies for $1 each.
“I reached the cap of my student loans,” Courtright said. “My fees are mostly my rent and medical bills. I didn’t know that my BARC [Account] had to be zeroed out. One night, I was sitting at home and I thought ‘There’s 20,000 students at UCSB and if I could just get one fifth of them to buy [the cookies] I could pay my fees’.”
That night, Courtright said, she created a Facebook group to spread the word about her project, and to take cookie orders from those who joined. She began selling cookies on Monday at various locations around campus.
Courtright said baking cookies has proven to be a relatively low cost enterprise.
“It [costs me] 10 cents a cookie [to make] chocolate chip cookies and just a little more for the chocolate chip cookies with the caramel in the center,” Courtright said. “So it was $350 to make 4,000 cookies.”
A few of Courtright’s friends have contributed to the effort by baking a variety of cookies, including almond short bread, chocolate chip, oatmeal chocolate chip and chocolate caramel, she said. Courtright said the chocolate caramel cookies sell the fastest.
Courtright said she will take holiday cookie orders as long as she receives payment before Nov. 15, and will personally deliver the packages.
“I’ll just drop them off if people order them,” Courtright said.
As of Monday, she said, she has grossed $202.50 – $17.50 of which was derived from donations to her cause.
To give back to the community, Courtright said she has been donating cookies to Cedarwood Apartments eviction protestors sleeping out at the Tent City Jam Fest by Storke Tower.
“A few people donated money,” Courtright said. “Anytime we get a donation we give that many cookies to [the people at] Tent City.”
Courtright said she spends a lot of time in the kitchen, constantly baking in order to meet her fiscal goal by Nov. 15.
“Whenever I’m home, there are cookies in the oven,” she said.