Words by Samantha Ickes
Myth: If your roommate dies, you get free tuition or a 4.0.
This whisper: False
No one knows where the legend of free tuition or a 4.0 GPA if your roommate dies comes from, but many colleges across the United States have similar rumors.
Jill Church, executive director for Residence Services, says she heard a similar myth during her first year at the University of Dayton.
The myth may have originated from the 1998 film “Dead Man on Campus.” In the movie, the grades of two college roommates take a nosedive after they reject their studies to party on the weekends. When they learn of the myth, the duo decides to find someone who is suicidal to room with in hopes of getting a 4.0 GPA to save their failing grades.
“I’ve heard about the free tuition thing, but just from other students,” says Madison Doyle, a senior interior design major. Doyle and her friends joke about the myth, not believing it to be true.
“I would tell my roommate, if studio kills me, hopefully I’ll die in the room, so she can get free tuition,” she says.
Kristoff Haynes, a junior digital sciences major, says he has never heard of the 4.0 GPA myth but has heard of the free tuition rumor.
“Most people just talk about it jokingly, though,” he says. “Same thing with getting hit by a campus vehicle and getting free tuition.”
Though many students are familiar with this urban legend, Church can confirm it is just that: a legend. Though she says the university will express their condolences, free tuition and a 4.0 GPA are not included.