Nzinga Rosa, Buffalo State College

I’m a sophomore at Buffalo State. I’m coming to Buffalo from the Bronx, where I also went to high school. I’m a psychology major, and when it comes to my career goals, I go back and forth between wanting to get into clinical psychology or having my own business around health care.

One of the reasons I chose to come to Buffalo State is that it is one of the less expensive SUNY schools, but even with that, I wouldn’t call it affordable. One of the biggest costs, which changes a lot depending on the semester, is textbooks. I actually didn’t take a math class in the past knowing that I was going to have to spend a hundred plus dollars on a single textbook. This semester, though, I didn’t spend anything on textbooks because one of my teachers has an online textbook, but last semester I spent a little over $300 for textbooks.

I also don’t get a lot in financial aid, so I find myself constantly having to take out loans. I’ve looked into sponsorship and other programs to apply for to pay for school, and I currently do get one grant, but it’s not that much money.

I wish there was an easier way to find out what I can apply for as far as financial aid goes. I’ve been to the financial aid office maybe four times throughout my two years here—so every semester—really just to try to understand my bill and to understand what resources there are to be able to pay it.

I have an advisor, but I wish there were more options, and it was more convenient for students to schedule meetings because a lot of the time your advisor is not available. Even if the resource is technically there, if you can’t access it when you need it, I think it needs to be changed.