I attend The Borough of Manhattan Community College. I was paying for college through financial aid and the College Discovery program. I wasn’t one of the smartest or most focused students, so it has been challenging because I was required to keep up a certain GPA to keep my financial aid.
I started my years at BMCC as an Early Childhood Education major, but I was in the process of changing my major to go into social work. I have loans, I’m a little worried. I have been in BMCC for some time now and I fear that my financial aid will be finished before I complete my courses. And then even more after that. Financial aid has been very helpful with paying for my classes, but towards the end of every semester, it was hard to buy food because I was in the school for the whole day and also having to pay for my train and bus rides to and from class every single day was hard
At the beginning of my 2019 semester, I got a job and it was helping me a little bit, but for me to get a decent paycheck, I would have to work long hours which distracted me from being able to focus on my school work which has further delayed my education. I do not personally pay for rent, my mother does, and I felt bad that she had to do it all on her own, so I was trying tirelessly for about 2 years to look for a job to help support her a little bit on top of paying for food and transportation.
Getting a degree for me would mean everything. Every day I have people asking me, “Are you in school?”, “When are you finishing school?” etc. I’m just tired of delaying the process. It would also mean a lot to my mom. I would be the first one in my family to go and to complete college. I want to give my mom a better life and myself as well and it would give me a chance to make a difference in the world.
Credit-wise I’m a senior, but I will be here until 2021. I would like to go to law school, but I can’t afford to pay for LSAT exam, which is a couple hundred dollars. I came from the Fashion Institute of Technology graduating with a major in pattern-making technology. Then I went to John Jay where I got my Bachelors in English and minor in Law, and now I’m studying at City Tech as a Law and Paralegal major. I continued to go to school thinking that TAP would cover it because they didn’t tell me that they only cover four years of school. I pay for school through student loans now.
My parents pay for my textbooks, I receive SNAP for food, and I am concerned about graduating on time. Tuition is going up, and I can’t afford it, which means I can’t take full amounts of classes like I want to. I had to go part-time at one point because I couldn’t afford to take full-time credits.
I got sick senior year of my first bachelors, so I had to take a semester off, and then I had a miscarriage so I took another semester off, and what they don’t tell you is that they count those semesters off as part of the 4 years of TAP.
I really need the prices to come down because I’m a single parent with a 14 year-old daughter, and I’m trying to make ends meet. I’m trying to further my career, but it’s too expensive.
I am majoring in law and paralegal studies at City Tech, and it is my 5th year. I want to go to law school after college and then run for the NY Senate, and you never know where else I may end up. I feel like the route taken by most politicians is going to law school and then end up being politically active.
Financial aid covers most of my costs, but I have to pay some out of pocket— approximately $500 to $1000. Before City Tech, I attended various universities, private and public, and saw how the financial aid system worked in those schools. It’s when I got to City Tech that I saw the deficiencies in the system.
I receive TAP and Pell, and it’s not enough to cover my tuition costs, and my parents don’t have the money necessary to adequately fund my higher education. I have three other siblings that are attending college and one that is in 12th grade, looking at colleges now.
I have to go on a deferred payment plan and have been dropped from a course because I didn’t have the money to pay on time. You only have the week from the start of the semester to apply for the deferred payment plan, and if you miss that, you have to pay the amount in full. I was lucky that I called the financial office and asked if there was an alternative to paying all at once.
How do other students find out about this if one has to call to find out about these alternative options? I personally told a number of students that the deferred payment plan was an option, instead of dropping out all together and losing a semester of coursework. They were not aware of this.
Financial aid usually pays for textbooks, but I have to pay out of pocket before the money comes in, which is usually the mid-point, or at the end of the semester. My parents pay for food. If I didn’t receive financial aid, it would be nearly impossible for me to go to school. I am concerned about graduating on time, especially since they’ve said I exhausted my financial aid.
We need a fully funded CUNY, so more people who don’t currently have access to higher education are able to gain access and not be held back socially or economically. That should be the goal. Prospective college students should only have to focus on their schoolwork, instead of on how they will be able to pay for their next semester of 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.