John Edwards has an example to teach University of California at Davis students how to avoid poverty — charge $55,000 for a speech.
That's how much the 2008 Democratic presidential candidate negotiated for his fee to speak to 1,787 people at the taxpayer-funded school in January 2006, according to financial disclosures.
According to Joe Martin, the public relations officer for UC Davis' Mondavi Center, the fee for a speech entitled, "Poverty, the Great Moral issue Facing America," was worth it to school officials.
Martin told The San Francisco Chronicle that the center paid Edwards because at the time "he wasn't a (presidential) candidate and from our point of view, he was a speaker of interest that people in the community were clearly interested in ... we feel it's our mission to present those speakers."
The speaking fee, which amounts to about $31 per audience member, was the highest Edwards earned in nine appearances last year at colleges and universities. In all, he earned $285,000 for the nine speeches.
Edwards spokesman Eric Schultz told FOX News that the speech at UC Davis, "was funded by sponsors and ticket sales," and the school has said ticket prices for the event ranged from $17.50 to $45.
Incidentally, students at all of California's public universities will pay a 7 percent increase in tuition next year.