Would you like to pay that in credit, debit … or rebate?

Johnathan Hood, a Ph.D. student at Auburn University, paid almost all of his first semester's $4,500 tuition using money he collected from mail-in rebates, according to Business Insider.

After paying $3,500 his first semester in rebates, Hood plans to keep paying that way.

"Currently, (the fund) has $160 in it, but it will probably grow quite a bit in the next couple of days," Hood told Business Insider. "I'm expecting about $600 more in rebates."

Many websites sell at least one product free after a mail-in rebate. Hood, a computer programmer, bought these products and managed the rebates with software that he built.

Just over four months after the purchase, a prepaid debit card or rebate check comes in the mail.

To turn a profit, Hood used a cash-back credit card and sold any products he didn't keep on eBay.

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