Happy Ending for Family That Had $10K College Tuition Payment Stolen

A family who had $10,000 in cash earmarked for college tuition stolen from a coffee shop received good news when a company stepped in with a scholarship to replace the filched funds.

Course Hero, a Silicon Valley-based company that provides access to online course materials, gave the student a scholarship to replace the tuition money that was stolen.

The heartbreaking loss happened in February, when Maria Esteves, her husband and her 18-year-old daughter, Lili Ferrufino, stopped in an Arlington, Virginia Dunkin’ Donuts on the way to Pennsylvania State University. The family ate breakfast and left before realizing Esteves had left her purse on the back of the chair.

The family returned moments later, but the purse was gone -- including the envelope filled with $10,000 in cash meant to pay Ferrufino’s Penn State tuition.

Surveillance video showed a woman grabbing the purse, looking around and leaving the Dunkin’ Donuts with the cash inside. Police searched for the woman but have not found her.

Ferrufino’s mother cleans houses and her father is a painter, NBC Washington previously reported

"I'd like her to know that she took it from a family, from a mom and dad, who did hard labor," Ferrufino said at the time. "I just hope that I get to see her and get to ask her why."

Course Hero’s scholarship will replace the funds stolen that day in Arlington so Ferrufino can continue her education.

“Course Hero believes that every college student in Falls Church and beyond - regardless of access to funds - deserves a leg-up on their educational future,” a company representative said in a statement.

Course Hero is also sponsoring a competition called the $1M Tutor Giveaway. You can enter that contest on the Course Hero website

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