03/15/2012 06:55 pm ET Updated Mar 21, 2012

Joshua Johnson, Penn State Student, Tap Dances On Subway To Pay Tuition (VIDEO)

Joshua Johnson might seem like a normal college student, but the 20-year-old has developed quite a unique way to pay for tuition.

The New York City native has been tap dancing on the subway to pay for his education at Penn State. And his talent has helped him raise the $6,000 he needs to pay for school each year.

On weekends, Johnson makes the trek from Pennsylvania to New York to perform in subway stations, where he says he can make about $200, The New York Times reports.

But in high school, a university education wasn't always on the agenda.

"I didn't really think college was an option for me; I was never really an 'A' student. But at the same time, I didn't want to look back on life and say to myself, 'I didn't go, because I didn't apply,'" Johnson said on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."

However, even with grants, loans and scholarships, Johnson still came up short on tuition, and he had to figure out a way to pay the difference.

"I didn't have money, and I didn't have resources, but what I did have was talent,"the student said on "Ellen."

Although Johnson is determined to be the first college graduate in his family, he admits the journey hasn't been easy.

"When I got [into Penn State], it was a challenge -- and a challenge I took head on. I am still sticking to it until I graduate," he told Campus Progress.

In addition to studying and subway dancing, Johnson also holds a part-time job at a clothing store. And although times are rough, he's keeping his eyes on the future.

"I'm in this situation for now, just now, but I know I'm not going to be here for long," Johnson told The New York Times.

Inspired by his story, Ellen DeGeneres aimed to fix the situation.

She invited Johnson to appear on her show and presented him with new tap shoes and a $35,000 check on behalf of Chegg, a student network.

For more on Johnson's story, watch the interview on "Ellen" above.