Lifestyle & Human Interest

24-Year-Old in Tears After Older Sister Pays Off Her College Tuition for Christmas


What’s the best Christmas gift you’ve ever received? Was it something you’d put on a list and hoped against hope it would show up under the tree on Christmas morning?

Or was it something entirely out of the blue, something perfect for you that you never would have asked for or expected?

One sister gave the gift of financial freedom to her younger sister this Christmas, by paying off her tuition and allowing her sister to finish her degree faster and without worry.

Tierra Patterson is 27 and pursuing a doctorate in developmental psychology. She knows the value of a good education, and like many post-grads, she probably also knows the financial woes that come along with it.

While she’s working on her Ph.D., her 24-year-old sister, Terri, has been working on her first degree at Roosevelt University, according to Inside Edition. She’s studying criminal justice, but she’s run into a problem.

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Initially, financial aid covered her tuition, but for some reason, she no longer received enough to pay for the next semester. The required $7,000 wasn’t just going to appear out of thin air, so Terri Patterson made the difficult decision to pause her education while she earned the money she needed to finish.

She told her older sister about the problem, and being the amazing older sister that she was, Tierra Patterson decided to do something about it.

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On Christmas, Terri Patterson opened a large gift-wrapped box full of green, white and gold tissue paper (green and white are her school’s colors). As she pulled handful after handful of tissue paper away, a smaller box was revealed at the bottom.

She laughed at a family member’s comment as she opened this second box, which was white with a printed gift bow and question marks on the side. More green, gold and white paper was crumpled up inside, and she looked up at the camera, puzzled.

After clearing the paper away, she stared at the inside bottom of the box for a moment before looking up and bursting into tears. Apparently, at first she thought it was a joke, but when she found out it was real, she was elated.

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Inside was a piece of paper that said, “I AM PAYING OFF YOUR SCHOOL BALANCE!” Tierra Patterson had decided to swing the several grand in the name of helping her sister achieve her goals.

Not only would Terri Patterson no longer have to pay those fees out of pocket, but she would also be able to continue her schooling on schedule. Her degree wouldn’t be bumped back an entire semester anymore, and she would be able to continue her education knowing just how much her sister supported her.

“It just meant the world to me because, I mean, I want to get my degree, and she has so many already,” Patterson told Inside Edition. “And it’s like, I just look up to her so much, so that meant so much to me and I really love her.”

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