A German graduate student who completed requirements for his bachelors and masters degrees “too fast” must pay for the full seven semester program, according to a North Rhine-Westphalia district court.
Marcel Pohl, dubbed a “turbo student” by local media, was sued by the School of Economics and Management in Essen (FOM) after completing 60 required exams in 20 months, finishing with a 2.3 GPA, all while apprenticing at a local bank. Sacrificing a social life and keeping himself up with green tea, he divided up lectures with friends and exchanged notes.
Pohl argued that since students who drop out of the program do not have to pay beyond their attendance, neither should he, further noting that all students sign the same tuition contract. But the Arnsberg District Court rejected that claim, saying Wednesday that as he used the same facilities as everybody else to complete his degree, he should have to pay just as much for them.
Reports from Die Welt newspaper indicate that the university supported Pohl’s desire to finish early.
“It’s disappointing,” Pohl related to the paper. “We will wait for the written outcome and then maybe launch an appeal.”
Although initial reports said the university was demanding €3,000 ($3,636.39), Pohl told the Bild that he would have to pay “around €11,000 [$13,331.11]” in remaining costs.