College Student Cries When Older Sister Pays Off Her Tuition as Christmas Present

Terri Patterson will begin her senior year at Roosevelt University, thanks to her sister's generous help.

While a new gadget or toy might be at the top of some Christmas lists, this Chicago woman was brought to tears by a slip of paper taped to the bottom of a gift box that read: “I am paying off your school balance!”

Terri Patterson, a 24-year-old student at Roosevelt University, unwrapped a gift on Christmas morning to find, underneath all the tissue paper, a slip of paper that said the remainder of her school tuition was taken care of.

“When I opened it, I was like shocked,” Patterson told “I can’t even really describe how I felt.”

Patterson had originally planned to take a semester off after her financial aid stopped covering her $7,000 tuition, and confided in her older sister, Tierra Patterson, about her difficult decision.

“I want to get my degree and she has so many already,” Terri said. “I just look up to her already […] and I really love her.”

Tierra, 27, is in grad school for a Ph.D. in developmental psychology at Howard University, while Terri is pursuing her degree in criminal justice.

Tierra said she didn’t want money to stop her sister from getting her degree and was determined to help her out any way she could.

“No more worries,” Tierra wrote on Twitter after she posted the video of her sister unboxing her gift. “You will finish your program strong! I got you forever!”