Posts Tagged ‘course offerings’

Brandon Perlaza, Queens College

I am a senior at Queens College majoring in film studies and English. I love to analyze stories in books and movies so that informed my choice of major. I receive the Federal Pell Grant and TAP as part of my financial aid. I try to save some money by getting books from the library, but for textbooks, my bill can climb into the hundreds. Big science and anthropology textbooks have been the most expensive for my required classes. And often, when you get to major courses, they ask for books that are rare to find, and ordering them online takes a long time. Textbooks eat up a lot of my financial aid refund that I could use on living expenses.

One semester, I was late applying for aid through FAFSA. When I was finally able to apply, I accidently applied for the wrong year. As a result, I owed the College money when my registration appointment came, and I couldn’t register. I had to pay down my balance before I could create my class schedule for the next semester. With the help of my parents, I was able to do this, but I don’t know what would have happened if they weren’t there to help me. Mistakes happen, and someone’s education shouldn’t be put on hold as a result.

I feel that offices at my college could communicate more with students about problems with their accounts so that the students can fix the problems before it’s too late. This could be done through email or having more effective campus outreach. These offices could use more funding for these programs and resources to fix infrastructure issues all over the school. Social services on the campus could also be improved, and the course selection widened, especially for smaller majors.

Abigaile Sanchez Hernandez, City College of NY

I’m majoring in political science and minoring in journalism. After college, I plan to keep on working with grassroots political organizations with which my beliefs align morally and politically and work with communities who are disfranchised to help them find the resources to live comfortably in this society.

I don’t receive any financial aid, so my parents and I are covering my tuition, book costs, and transportation. I personally don’t need the child care center but would appreciate it for other students. I know of a load of students that are also parents. A center would take off the financial load of child care.

My biggest challenge as a CUNY student has been taking classes that I need to graduate on time and finding vegan options. I’m concerned with graduating on time because advisors are very inconsistent, and I’ve taken classes that I don’t need.

I think that we need a fully funded CUNY because there’s a clear disparity in a lot of job fields, and we need a fully funded CUNY to diversify institutions that control what happens to real working-class people. Low-income students of color don’t have the means to complete a bachelor’s degree because of food insecurity, financial insecurity, and other challenges. If they were able to go to school and get a degree while not having to worry about money, these students could change the world! They would have more of a say over their lives and the lives of people who identify with them. I think that that would be a better pathway to an equal society, which is very essential in today’s political climate. If we care about equality and diversity, CUNY needs to be fully funded!

Hannah Falk, SUNY Cortland

I’m currently a senior studying international studies and political science at SUNY Cortland. After graduation, I plan to work abroad, specifically in the Australian government.

In order to pay for school, I use financial aid as well as out of pocket payments. I receive both TAP and the Pell Grant to help cover the costs of school, but I also work part-time on campus for 20 hours a week on top of taking 19 credits. I use the money I make working to help pay for groceries, but I also use the student food cupboard on campus.

I pay for textbooks out of pocket with money from working. They’re expensive every semester, and I’m concerned that I won’t graduate on time and will have to pay for even more books all over again. There are classes that I’m required to take that are only offered at specific times, and I still haven’t been able to take them.

College should be accessible to everyone, and by making SUNY fully funded, it will be. Not everyone has the opportunity to attend college and financial aid doesn’t always cover everything, so students are left responsible to pay for the remaining costs. As students, our concern shouldn’t be having enough to eat. We should be focused on our education.

The biggest challenge that I’ve faced as a SUNY student is trying to afford both housing and food. My financial aid doesn’t cover housing because it is all spent on paying for my tuition, so I have to find ways to pay for it myself.

Martinez, Borough of Manhattan Community College

I am a Video Art and Technology Major at BMCC. In the spring of 2020, I will be graduating from college with my associates degree. I have interests in arts and humanities, science and acting. I know the exact subjects I need in order for me to graduate. However, I was disappointed by the fact that the college limited the amount of classes you could take per a semester. At BMCC we are not allowed to go over 15 credits for each semester and it troubled me that I was having problems with advisement.

My advisor changes every semester and I can not see the same advisor twice for some reason. I believe if we have the same advisor throughout our college year or at least throughout the semester students wouldn’t encounter any doubts about their major, or struggle with picking the right class. Also by adjusting the limit to a higher number of credits would help students graduate faster and save more money. I have a part time job where I use my earnings to cover my MTA card and food. While my guardian takes care of my tuition. I believe a fully funded CUNY would give students better equipment to use for their assigned work and better teachers that will make sure students benefit from each class they attend.

Stephanie Appau, Borough of Manhattan Community College

I am a Business Management Major at BMCC. I am expected to graduate in the fall of 2020, once I pass all of my classes. It was fortunate for me to be accepted into the ASAP program at BMCC. The program covers my tuition and transportation fees. Without the ASAP program I wouldn’t be able to take winter or summer courses. Without these courses I would not be able to graduate on time. After I obtain my degrees I would like to open a vet and animal daycare in New York. I have a part time job that helps me pay for my rent and other bills outside of school. One of my main academic goals is to graduate with a high grade point average. To achieve this goal I’m pushing myself to be a better student. To give myself time to study so I could achieve my academic goals.

Margarita, Borough of Manhattan Community College

I am a stay at home mother. I just had a baby girl a year and a half ago and have another child on the way. I decided to come to BMCC to study Business Management so that I can have a qualification when I decide to go back into the world of work. I aspire to transfer to a four-year college to study business management, hopefully Zicklin School of Business because I want to open my own business someday.

I don’t qualify for any of financial aid because my household income is considered to be above the threshold. So everything I need for school comes out of my pocket. Because I did just have a baby and another one on the way, school is expensive for me. I have to buy textbooks and make sure that I’m in class for the minimum required time. One textbook can come to about $180 and the transport money does add up.

My strategy to mitigate costs is to take only one or two classes per semester. This unfortunately will delay my graduation which is not ideal but I have no choice at the moment.

Evan Bogle, Queens College

I am undecided but likely going into Accounting. My college experience has been impacted by budget cuts when it comes to advisement.  In high school you don’t get to pick your classes, but in college you have to suddenly do that and there are so many different factors we don’t know about going in.  

To get into certain majors you need a certain GPA, but this is something I was never told.   I figured that out by chance when I saw a poster for International Business which I’ve been thinking about majoring in.  When I was in high school, I maintained a certain GPA because I knew I needed it to get into college. Having knowledge of that stuff is important.

Another issue I’ve had is with class registration.   When you get a good enough grade in certain classes you can skip another class.  I took college algebra and got a B which meant that I didn’t need to take precalc.  I went to an advisor before picking my classes for the spring, and they could have explained to me that the grade I got in college algebra could allow me to skip taking precalc.  But that didn’t happen. Taking a class I don’t need to take is a waste when I could be taking other classes toward my graduation. So many people don’t graduate in 4 years. If the college had more money, they could hire more advisors.  The TAP Gap is cheating the university out of money.

Ashton Joseph, Queensborough Community College

I am majoring in Psychology.  I want to become a mental health counselor for teens and young adults either at a school or have my own private practice.  I am a first generation college student. Both of my parents are from Haiti my dad went to college my mom didn’t. I am in limbo, hoping to graduate by next semester.  

In my Social Behavior course it was often so packed that I couldn’t get a seat and would show up and then just leave.  I didn’t do as well as I hoped to, as a result and am retaking the course in the fall. If high-demand classes were available in the summer and winter, and financial aid covered them, that would greatly help students graduate on time.  We need more class availability for classes that are highly in demand such as pre- or co-requisite classes. We need better paid adjuncts. Every single semester they’re trying to teach and do their best and not being paid as much as they should be.  There should be better trained advisors. One day I was in advisement and I had work at 2pm. I did a walk in and put my name down and waited almost 2 hours.

Evelyn Marks, SUNY Cortland

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.

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. 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.

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.

Christy Suquitana, Queens College

I am currently a freshman majoring  in political science and minoring in Urban Studies. After graduation, I plan on going to law school.  I pay for tuition through TAP and Pell Grants, and my parents assist me with the costs of textbooks. TAP only covers four years of financial aid, so I must take fifteen credits per semester to graduate on time. If TAP would cover summer and winter courses then it would lighten my load over the fall and spring semesters. Along with being a full time college student, I also work part time to financially assist my family.  It is nearly impossible to make college my first priority when I feel overwhelmed with the overload of credits and working.

CUNY and SUNY should be fully funded, so that specifically my two siblings will not have to feel pressured to work in order to afford college. In terms of my college experience, CUNY needs to be better funded. I had difficulty registering for a calculus class which I needed to fulfill a core requirement.

Additionally, finding an academic adviser who will be able to give me accurate advice is very hard. At the beginning of my Freshman year, I had a question regarding financial aid. One adviser gave me inaccurate advice which almost caused me to lose my financial aid due to the fact, that there are not enough advisers for the amount of students. She had to rush when giving me advice in order to make time for the long line of students waiting to be advised. This budget deficit at CUNY could have had detrimental effects on my college career.