Debt dilemma: Bangor grad unable to collect first class law degree launches public appeal
Wannabe lawyer who worked as a toilet attendant to fund vac schemes in dire straits
An international law student at Bangor University is hoping the generosity of strangers will help him graduate.
Having recently completed an LLB at the Welsh university, Akorede Samuel Omotayo was unable to don a mortarboard and gown along with his peers last Wednesday because of outstanding tuition fee debt. He described it as the “saddest day of my life.”
This is because Omotayo — who has secured a first class result — still owes Bangor £3,525 in fees. Now, like many law students before him, Nigerian-born Omotayo has turned to crowdfunding in the hope of raising the much needed cash. He told Legal Cheek:
I am presently at a deadlock with my final year tuition fees, and I have been advised to set up a campaign on GoFundMe to raise the outstanding fee of £3,525 on my £9,000 final year tuition fees… Any help whatsoever will be deeply appreciated and acknowledged.
His GoFundMe page reveals Omotayo spent three months between late 2015 and earlier 2016 working as a toilet attendant at Bangor’s Peep Night Club. Describing himself as the guy who would solicit “for your pennies and coins in exchange for a few sprays of deodorant,” he continues:
Sam, as I am fondly called by many of my patronisers — turned friends, who, at first, were sympathisers and many of whom, although drunk, could still empathise with my sorry state — at least, for putting up with the smell from their pee for good three hours whilst also cleaning up the mess they left behind.
This helped Omotayo raise £1,000 towards City law firm events and internships at the likes of Simmons & Simmons, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Reed Smith. He also attempted to clear his debts by working various jobs (in a warehouse, a nursing home and a food factory) and by borrowing money from friends. However, factor in living expenses and Omotayo having to send money back to Nigeria to help support his elderly parents, and he’s been left several thousand pounds short.
There is an added pressure for him to hit his £3,525 crowdfunding target. Omotayo, a regular contributor to the Legal Cheek Journal section, has offers to study masters degrees from both Renmin University of China and Newcastle University. These offers include a full or partial scholarship, but are contingent on him providing his final degree transcript. He tells us:
I can’t express enough the frustration I have had at my predicament. Obtaining the fees through the crowdfunding, even though it is detrimental to my future application for UK Visa, was my last resort.
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