"In recognition of the fourth-grader's Volunteer spirit, the university has extended an offer of honorary admission for him to join the Class of 2032."
College tuition can cost the shirt off your back.
But now a bullied fourth grader won't have to worry about financing his higher education as the University of Tennessee has offered a full ride to the child after he went viral this week thanks to his homemade UT shirt.
The story that captured the heart of the internet and beyond saw the youngster bullied at school for attempting to show his support for the college's football team — the Vols — by taping his hand-drawn logo to the front of his shirt.
When his teacher shared the story, it spread like wildfire, with the college even adapting his crude-but-determined design into official merchandise.
After the shirts completely sold out, UT decided to go one further and offer him a full scholarship.
"The University of Tennessee is lighting the way for the young Vol fan who made his own UT T-shirt," the school announced in a statement. "In recognition of the fourth-grader's Volunteer spirit, the university has extended an offer of honorary admission for him to join the Class of 2032."
"In addition, he has been awarded a four-year scholarship covering his tuition and fees beginning fall 2028 should he decide to attend UT and meet admission requirements."
The college confirmed that the 50,000 units of the orange spiritwear had been pre-sold by the VolShop — crashing its website a number of times.
All proceeds from the sale of the shirts go directly to the charity Stomp Out Bullying.
"University officials have spoken several times with the boy's mother, who has expressed gratitude to the university and said the family has been deeply touched by the overwhelming outpouring from people around the world," UT added.
The story first took flight when the boy's teacher Laura Snyder shared it on Facebook last week, explaining that the young Vols fan was excited about showing his support for the team on College Colors Day, but didn't own any official clothing — hence he designed his own.
"After lunch, he came back to my room, put his head on on his desk and was crying," she wrote. "Some girls at the lunch table next to his (who didn't even participate in college colors day) had made fun of his sign that he had attached to his shirt. He was DEVASTATED."
"I know kids can be cruel, I am aware that it's not the fanciest sign, BUT this kid used the resources he had available to him to participate in a spirit day."
Ms Snyder used the post to ask if anyone had any connections at UT who could perhaps get him an official shirt to cheer him up, never knowing the impact her post would ultimately have.
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