Maria Klara Ventura, SUNY Cortland

I’m a sophomore at SUNY Cortland double majoring in anthropology and international studies. I’m also getting a minor in Latin American studies. At this point, I’m considering going to law school after graduation or going into humanitarian work.

I’m from California, so I pay the out-of-state tuition for SUNY Cortland, and I have no choice but to take out private loans and government loans to pay for school. I don’t receive TAP or the Pell Grant, so I rely on my loans to pay for college.

I do work-study and receive minimum wage, which I use to pay for textbooks and any other expenses that I have. I have a meal plan which is included in my loans. If I didn’t receive work-study aid, I would not be able to attend college.

There are countries that have free college, and opening the doors to education to more people will help future generations. The value of having a degree is huge, and making SUNY free would allow everyone to have the ability of attaining one.