LOWELL (CBS) – A Lowell teenager is hoping to help raise money for medical school in an unorthodox way – panhandling.

Eighteen-year-old Emily Stutz started an online fundraising page to help her raise money for her education. Stutz says she has not yet decided where she will attend school in the fall.

The senior wrote that while she has the academic credentials to study psychology on a pre-medical track, she does not have the finances to make it happen.

Stutz, a Lowell High School senior, says she has maintained a 4.0-4.5 GPA for the last four years, has volunteered for organizations and worked three part-time jobs.

After applying at several schools, Stutz said she has been offered between $11,000-$18,000 in financial aid. But she still needs additional finances to attend the universities she hopes to attend.

“My parents have had immense financial struggles and simply cannot come up with $20,000-$30,000 a year, nor are they able to cosign a loan for me,” Stutz wrote on her fundraising page. “I have no other adults in my life who are able to cosign and I am at a loss. I see my dream of becoming a doctor slip further and further away as the days pass by so I’ve decided I am going to do whatever it will take to get myself to college.

That’s where her plan for panhandling comes in.

“If people will give to the ‘homeless’ panhandlers then maybe they will consider sparing a dollar or some change to an aspiring doctor who has all the academic, but no financial means to attend college,” wrote Stutz. “Anything helps at this point!”

Stutz posted on Saturday that she spent her first day asking for money outside Target in Lowell, calling it “extremely successful.”

She shared a photo of herself holding a sign that says “H.S. Senior. No $ for college. Anything Helps.”

In addition, her online fundraising page has surpassed $1,200.

“As an old Tanzanian proverb says, ‘Little by little, a little becomes a lot,’” Stutz wrote.

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