UnNews:Michigan man accumulates 29 degrees--and still can't land a job!

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19 June 2012

Professional student Michael Nicholson proves it's never too late to learn.

KALAMAZOO, MI – Michael Nicholson (no relation to Jack), a 71-year-old Michigan man with too much time on his hands, boasts something that few, if any, other people, especially from Michigan, can boast: he has 29 college degrees! Unfortunately, he still cannot land a job.

“I don't know whether it's age discrimination, the economy, or what,” Nicholson lamented, “but I keep hearing, 'You're overqualified.'”

He has filled out over 1,000 applications, in May alone, without success. “I'm still unemployed. It's not difficult to pay my student loans without a job, it's impossible!”

Nevertheless, lenders continue to “harass” him, the perennial student complained.

Mark Twain, himself a fifth-grade dropout (and one of America's foremost authors) once asked, “What good is education?” Nicholson appears to have the answer—or several answers, in fact.

His lack of employment and his inability to repay his current student loan debt has not stopped Nicholson from pursuing yet another degree. “There's not a whole lot else to do in Kalamazoo,” he said. “Racking up degrees gets me out of the house and keeps me busy. Besides, have you seen some of the coeds and what they're wearing to school nowadays? It's stimulating and rewarding just going to class.”

In addition to its being a pastime that allows him to “check out chicks,” Nicholson cites his parents as inspirational to his pursuit of higher (and higher) education: “Mom and Dad both encouraged me to become well educated. They wanted me to go as far as I can go.” He is also motivated to graduate because, by doing so, he can add another tassel to his extensive collection. “I have 29, one for each college I've graduated from, in an array of colors.” He said he “could do without the commencement speeches,” though.

Nicholson has collected degrees from ITT Technical Institute, DeVry University, the University of Phoenix, Tinkertoy Tech, Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College, and other proprietary colleges and fly-by-night institutions of higher education. “Maybe that's why he's having trouble finding a job,” Harvard University's president, Gilpin Faust, suggested.

His wife Sharon, who wishes to remain anonymous, has seven degrees to her name. “She's undereducated, but smart,” Nicholson said. “Sometimes, she helps me with my homework.” She draws the line, though, he said, at helping him to pay for his outstanding student loans.

A month ago, Nicholson completed his latest--but by no means his last--degree, an associate's in Finger-painting Techniques. Before that degree, he earned a bachelor's in Crosswalk Safety. His next? A master's in either Belly Dancing or The Fine Art of Seduction, courses suggested by his wife.

Asked whether, as one of the world's most highly educated men, he had any advice for other students, Nicholson said, “Vote for Obama; he, too believes in education, and he's done a lot to keep the costs of college down so others can benefit from taxpayer-funded student loans.”

Still, at some point, he'd like to get a job, Nicholson said. “Being a professional student is nice, but it doesn't pay much.”

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