Search NYPIRG

Posts Tagged ‘EOP’

Ceianna Farquharson, Buffalo State College

Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

I am a currently a freshman, undeclared major as for now, but studying to be a language interpreter. I receive financial aid from TAP and the Pell Grant and I am currently an EOP student. I also am currently receiving a grant from the New York Yankees because of my mother.

My biggest challenge is trying to stay calm and not to feel overwhelmed by the workload. I receive a lot of support. EOP supplies me with two textbooks and my family sends money to pay for the rest of my books. I have a meal plan paid through financial aid and also my mother helps me pay for food. I also do receive SNAP benefits as well. Also, I have a goal to complete work at a gradual pace so I won’t be overwhelmed by a last minute urgency.

We need SUNY fully funded because students who take the initiative to go into higher education deserve to be supported for their desire for higher success. Please continue to fund our schools and to fund me.

Nagdeska Paulino, SUNY New Paltz

Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

I am a junior, and I am majoring in Sociology with two minors in Anthropology and Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies. I do not have any idea about what I am doing after college, but a plan I briefly contemplated is going for my Master’s and teaching sociology. So far, half of my tuition and other school bills have been paid by grants like Pell and TAP and the other half has been loans.

I am not a part of any opportunity programs; EOP would have been nice but the program rejected me because my high school GPA was one point too high. I have a work study job that does not really produce anything substantial; we’re halfway through the semester and I have not received one check. Honestly, I have been flat broke for a while so I finessed textbooks this semester and managed to get all but one of them for free.

I only use my meal plan for food but if I did not have enough financial aid to pay for it, I would probably only eat once a day. I don’t think I’m concerned about graduating on time but it would not surprise me if I had to stay longer than I would like to. A fully funded SUNY would be beneficial since I would not feel as though I’m walking with a -$30,000 above my head every day. Just the thought of the loans I’ve already accumulated, only two years into my degree, makes me want to not do my work. This morphs into procrastination and we all know how that goes. My biggest challenges have been having to decide which assignments are more worth printing out since my printing quota is depreciating quickly and wanting to go home but having no money for a trailways ticket.   

Ariyah Adams, SUNY New Paltz

Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

I am currently a junior majoring  in communications with a concentration in public relations and double minoring in theater and business. I pay for tuition through TAP and Pell Grants, as well as take out loans to cover the the rest of my bill. After I graduate I plan on attending graduate school at either SUNY New  Paltz or a different SUNY. I am still undecided about that. I plan on paying for graduate school through applying for grants and scholarships.

Right now I am working two jobs, I work at the dining hall on campus and I have a work study job. I don’t depend on money from my parents so usually I pay for my textbooks and food on my own or a split the cost of the textbook with a friend or classmate in the same class as me. I am also a student at the Educational Opportunity Program at my school which has helped me a lot, getting through navigating financial aid. If this program didn’t exist I’m not sure if I would be in college. The EOP program has helped me grow into a strong individual and has offered me tutoring, mentors and advisors that always have my back.

Flor Najera, SUNY New Paltz

Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter
/Users/charliewebber/Desktop/IMG_0905.JPG

I am a Public Relations major and Journalism minor.  I intend to graduate in December 2019. After college, I plan on attaining a stable job where I will pursue marketing and get a place of my own. However, I am not ruling out graduate school. I pay for school through financial aid as well as the two loans I took out. I feel blessed to be a part of the EOP program, where I have had an advisor and group of students in similar positions as me for the last four years helping me navigate the SUNY system.  I receive TAP and work study – I work at the student union front desk. I pay for textbooks through financial aid and receive a refund check of $150 per semester. In the case of that not being enough to afford all textbooks, I will turn to scanning or finding the electronic version.

Help also comes from Alumni donations to EOP that are applied toward paying for books.  I live on campus and have a meal plan that is paid for within financial aid. I do not make use of the childcare center located on campus, as I do not have any children. However, I still find the center to be beneficial because some of my professors bring their children there so they can teach for the day, which in turn allows me to receive an education. If I did not receive financial aid, I would still find a way to attend college, whether that be working as many shifts as possible, applying for scholarships, and loans.  It is important for me to receive at least a bachelor’s degree because of the difference it makes having one vs. not having one in the real world.

My family and I are immigrants. I am fortunate that I am able to attend college and receive a degree, and I am one of the first in my family to achieve this. My brothers did not go to college and had to work straight out of high school to help out my family financially. It’s tough because most businesses are expanding their credential requirements, most requiring a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. How can we work toward achieving what is required of us if it is not made available?


Ismael Ali, Hunter College

Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

I am a junior at Hunter College majoring in Political Science with a minor in Black Studies. I am also the first person in my family to go to college. Right now, my main priority is to graduate as soon as possible so I can get a job to provide for my family and pay my student loans.

I was first a college student at SUNY New Paltz where I was part of the Education Opportunity Program (EOP). One of my main challenges at New Paltz was the price of textbooks. Even though I was working two on-campus jobs, I found myself spending two thirds of my paycheck towards textbooks. I addressed the issue to my EOP advisor, who cared and loved me like their own, and they were able to help me with an EOP book voucher. This voucher helped me to pay for the rest of my school supplies. The downside is that this book voucher is limited. I know that I am one of so many students who struggle with textbook costs.

In the fall of 2018, I transferred to Hunter College. The first thing that comes to mind when people ask me why I transferred is the fact that the cost of tuition at SUNY New Paltz was overwhelming. As a full-time college student, it was impossible for me to get a job that would cover my tuition so every semester I had to take out loans.  

I’m now in SEEK. Like EOP, Search for Education Elevation and Knowledge Program (SEEK) helps me with my textbooks and provides me with an advisor. Thanks to the SEEK program, my transition from New Paltz to Hunter College was very smooth. This is why we need true leadership from our representatives to defend and expand opportunity programs.

Avalann Bargallo, Buffalo State College

Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

I was raised in a single parent household with my two sisters. My mom worked full time to support us all. She didn’t get the opportunity to go to college but wanted better for me and my sisters. No one in my family has finished a four year degree yet and that is mainly because of the financial burden.

I am a full time student enrolled in the EOP program and do receive financial aid, but that covers tuition. I still have multiple loans in my name I had to take out and have worked 1-2 jobs during the school years to pay for living expenses such as books, food, my car, and most recently off campus rent because seniors aren’t allowed to live on campus anymore. I would love to just focus on school but that’s not possible.

I am worried about paying back those students loans and possibly wanting to further my education because of the costs. Investing in higher education will greatly improve the future students of New York.

Kevon Pile, SUNY Cortland

Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

I am a senior in the criminology program and an aspiring law school candidate.  My education would not have been possible without taking on a substantial amount of student loan debt. I am frightened when it comes to paying back my loans.

My loans cover tuition costs, and that’s it. I have to pay for cost-of-living expense such as rent, food, and transportation out of pocket. I participate in the work-study program and am enrolled in the Equal Opportunity Program (EOP). Investing in higher education will allow students like me the opportunity to grow as individuals, and ultimately positively affect the great state of New York.

 

Nelson, SUNY New Paltz

Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

I enrolled myself in the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) and basically, it looks at the amount of money my parents make in a year and based on that, it allows me to apply for special grants and pays off my entire tuition. It also supplies each student with money to buy textbooks each semester. Textbooks are pretty expensive and most times I wouldn’t be able to afford them without the EOP program. Also, the program provides a library of books that we can borrow from instead of buying and anyone is allowed to donate to this library. If it wasn’t for EOP, I definitely wouldn’t be in school, hands down. I wouldn’t be able to afford it at all and even if I was able to afford it, I wouldn’t be able to do it without my EOP tutors, counselors, directors and all their support.

After moving off campus, I found myself struggling a lot with affording food. I didn’t realize how hard that would be. I also found myself struggling to pay for my phone bill and other necessities. There are times where I wasn’t able to pay and I wouldn’t be able to use my phone to hear back from programs or jobs I was applying to. I’ve had to take on two jobs during my time at school. It’s kinda hard to balance work and school at the same time.

Mehnaz Sultana, Purchase College

Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Luckily, I do not have any student loans as of now but, it does seem like something I might need in the future.  One reason I am actually in college I would say is because the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) exists and the support they provide.  Right now, I’m not taking any loans, but I am struggling. I am a commuter so I have to actually spend two-three hours sometimes commuting depending on when I miss a train or something.

Either I spend more time, or I spend more money.  So, if you’re not in economic debt, then you are in mental debt.   I am totally, I don’t function half of the time. I’m so tired when I come to class, I’m just trying to stay awake. If I didn’t have to commute and if I could live on campus and get up and go to my classes it would be awesome.  I’m pretty sure my grade would not suffer as much as they do right now. It’s hard to balance that time.

Toni Yancey, SUNY Cortland

Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

As a senior in high school, I did not think college would ever be in my grasp. Most of my family did not go to college so I thought I would not either. I was unsure how I would pay for my higher education.  Thankfully, my high school had a terrific career program that provided the necessary tools to make my college dreams a possibility.  I applied to SUNY Cortland through their Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) and was admitted. I am grateful to have come across this program. They helped me prepare for college socially and economically, as well as help me prepare in terms of academics.  I receive financial aid in order to help pay for school, however a majority of the additional costs are placed on my shoulders. Aside for paying for tuition, I front the cost of other expenses such as food, social activities, toiletries, textbooks and other school supplies. The list can go on forever, As an off-campus resident, I must also pay rent. I am taking eighteen credits and also working two jobs to help me with the cost of living.

I am studying sociology and professional writing and planning on attending graduate school. I am an aspiring counselor and believe that the investment for a postgraduate degree will increase my chances of employment, and ultimately allow me to pay off loans more efficiently.