After six years in the making, Newman alumnus Andrew Regoli ’17 premiered his first feature film, “Tuition Hike,” July 14 in the De Mattias Performance Hall at Newman University.
Living in a small apartment, two roommates, Steve (Caleb Howell ’18) and Jake (Paul “P.J.” Johnson), realize they must put an end to being broke and decide that a college education will solve their problems. There’s just one problem — how do they get the money to pay for tuition? After meeting an all-knowing tax evader, the two friends heed the wise man’s advice to take advantage of a loophole in the online college system to become professors of “paper classes” to pay for their tuition as students.
Following the premiere, Regoli held a Q&A for audience members.
One person mentioned, “It was a very funny movie, but it also has a very serious topic.”
Regoli finished writing the script to his ambitious film project in 2013 — one year before the University of North Carolina “Paper Classes Scandal” came to light.
“We were like, ‘Uh oh — now it’s not fiction anymore,'” Regoli said, laughing. “In my script, we were very careful to say they have to grade on a bell curve so it’s not suspicious. They (UNC) just gave everybody an A.”
From film to med school
Regoli said he expects this film will be his last — at least in the foreseeable future. In August, he will begin med school at the University of Kansas School of Medicine – Wichita. To help him afford tuition, he will not pretend to be a professor as he wrote in his script but instead has sold his filmmaking gear to pursue his passion to heal.
When asked how Newman has prepared him for med school, Regoli said, “I think that Newman is the best preparation for med school in Wichita, specifically with professors like Dr. Sarah Evans, Dr. (John) Leverette, and Dr. (David) Shubert. They’re all fantastic pre-med educators. They tailor their classes to them.”