The only downside of getting accepted into college is the huge mountain of debt you're setting yourself up for.  Which is why this is so great.

Markus Burden is an 18-year-old freshman at Ball State University in Indiana, and Thursday was his first day on campus. (Ball State is David Letterman's Alma Mater, by the way.)

At an orientation event that night, he was randomly selected for a chance to make a half-court shot and win a semester of FREE TUITION.

He got four chances, and missed his first three.  But on his fourth and final attempt, he DRAINED IT, and won over $11,000 to cover the spring semester.

After the crowd went NUTS, Markus called his mom...who thought he was LYING, until one of his friends sent her a picture to prove it.

The university has been holding the contest for several years, but Markus is the first student ever to sink the shot.

(Daily Mail / IndyStar / Chicago Tribune)

Here's a video of the shot: