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Evelyn Marks, SUNY Cortland

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My name is Evelyn Marks, and I’m a Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) major at SUNY Cortland, but before that I was an Adolescent Education major. I’m kind of a “super duper senior” because I graduated more than 2 years ago with a B.A. in English,  which makes me a Non-Traditional Student. Currently I have two plans that I could go for after graduating. I could get my master’s here at Cortland and then go to New York City to teach, or the second plan is basically going abroad and teaching. This is the first year I’ve received financial aid since they’ve finally stopped going off of my moms income and solely on mine. Other than that, I pay for college with loans and work. I used to receive TAP and the Pell Grant when I was initially going to college, but I don’t receive them anymore. Currently I work part-time at Walmart, roughly 20 hours a week. Last year I worked full-time and could barely balance my workload between classes and work. This year it’s a lot easier to balance the workload. I get my textbooks through the inter-library loan, which is awesome because you don’t have to pay a million dollars for books. I use whatever money I have leftover from work for food, even though right now I don’t have a lot of money for that, either. I was going to apply for SNAP, but I heard that college kids aren’t always eligible. Even if I didn’t receive financial aid for college I would still go, considering that’s what I’ve been doing for the past couple of years, but I am concerned about graduating on time. Some of the classes I need to take actually conflict with other classes I need, which means I have to push my graduation date out a year, essentially. I think SUNY/CUNY should be free because I think that students shouldn’t have to worry about scraping together money for college when they should be trying to perform better in classes.


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