Posts Tagged ‘first-generation student’

Helen Tang, Syracuse University, Class of ‘20

About 98% of my tuition is covered by scholarships, grants from the school, and federal loans and grants. To most other students attending Syracuse, paying the remainder 2% of the school’s tuition would be easy to cover by their parent’s incomes. However, for me it is difficult and extremely stressful, especially since both my parents’ incomes fall below the poverty line, they speak little English and I am a first generation college student. Knowing this, I could not bear to ask for my parents’ helps in paying for my education, and decided to save up whatever money I made from my job as a cashier during high school. Still though, as life is filled with unforeseen circumstances, a lot of the money I made during high school went towards helping my parents. I have to constantly be in communication with the financial aid office and bursar office to settle my dues.

Like many other low-income students here, I’ve had to take on a job on top of classes in order to pay for books, and to save up for next semester’s tuition. Having to constantly be in contact with the financial aid and bursar office, keeping track of my finances, and working on top of taking classes has definitely taught me how to manage my time and money well, but has also burdened me with a great amount of stress. Attending a private institution such as Syracuse for low-income students is an omnipresent issue in regards to finances. However, I am extremely grateful to attend such a prestigious academy.