Saturday, April 16, 2005


The real Van Wilder

National Lampoon may want to visit the Univerity of Wisconsin - Whitewater when they get around to filming the Van Wilder sequel. The campus is home to Johnny Lechner, 28, who is in his 11th year as a student in the University of Wisconsin System, the last 10 at UW-Whitewater. He's taken a full course load every semester except the current one, in which he's taking seven credits.


Lechner has completed an amazing 234 college credits, about 100 more than needed to graduate and so many that he's now paying the so-called "slacker tax." The slacker tax doubles full- time tuition at UW-Whitewater (12 to 18 credits) to $4,816 a semester. With the surcharge, Lechner is paying $2,810 per semester for his seven-credit load.

After graduating from high school in 1994, Lechner went to UW- Waukesha for a year, then transferred to UW-Whitewater. Most of his friends were attending colleges in Milwaukee and Madison. Lechner states that he has fallen into some sort of a comfort zone and that deep down inside he has a fear of getting into the next phase of his life. It appears that one of his many classes must have been Psychology.

The amazing thing about this story is that he only has student debt of $30,000. He is using the pay-as-you-go approach from his job at the local Olive Garden. Nice work Johnny.

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