Posts Tagged ‘job’

Joshua Chandra, SUNY ESF

While I’ve been lucky enough to have family members that have the means to support me through school, tuition and fee hikes have taken a major toll on my friends. Almost everyone I know is taking a full load of science classes that include lab sessions. They all have to work long hours.

Because we are majoring in hard sciences, textbooks can easily be over a thousand dollars a semester on top of rising tuition costs. We’re expected to either pay now or take out tens of thousands in loans that we can pay if we get jobs after college. This makes it stressful to just be a student because getting a well-paying job is so important.

We’re supposed to be the ones protecting our planet and developing new technologies to fight climate change, but how can we do that if learning how to do that is so difficult? Almost everyone I know talks about how worried they are about their future post-graduation.

I’m also extremely worried about the SUNY system because I have a younger brother and sister who will both be going to college in a few years. If the economy tanks, and my parents lose their jobs, what are my siblings supposed to do? They haven’t been able to save for themselves because they’ve been brought up thinking that they’ll be okay. But if school keeps getting more expensive, I’m not sure what they’ll be able to do.

Seth Herendeen, Buffalo State College

I grew up mostly in upstate New York. I went to Lyons High School in Lyons, NY, which is a really small school; my graduating class was about 60 people. My career goal is to become a software developer or programmer—something along those lines—and I am taking computer science classes here at Buffalo State.

I transferred to Buffalo State from Finger Lakes Community College, which was a two-year school, and Buffalo State was one of the less expensive options for four-year colleges.

Last semester was my first semester here in Buffalo. Because my family is recognized as being in need, I get financial aid of like all stripes. I get Pell Grants and would have gotten Perkins if they hadn’t done away with that. I get TAP and Excelsior. Despite all of that—which sounds like a lot, but it’s not—there’s still money that I have to pay out-of-pocket even though my family really can’t afford it.

At Finger Lakes there were three professors that got together and wrote their own book, and that helped with textbook costs there. This semester, most of my textbooks, like three of them were under $20, but one of them was $150. It was one for my information systems class, and there was another I had that was like $90, and it was just to access an online version.

If I could just focus full-time on schoolwork I would do that, but I need money to pay for textbooks and living expenses beyond what’s covered by financial aid, so I am looking for a job.

Omar Andron, City College of NY

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I’m a senior majoring in political science. After graduating, I want to work in public policy. I’m graduating on time because I cannot afford not to. Because I’m a transfer student from Russia, I don’t have any financial aid and have to pay more than the average student. My FAFSA application was not accepted because I already have a degree from Syria.

Compared to private schools, CUNY is cheaper but a diploma from a private college comes with prestige. I’m the first person in my family to go to college and the first to not work a blue-collar job. I pay for school, rent, food, transportation, books, and support my family back home in Turkey.

I’m currently in debt over $28,000 because I needed help to pay for everything because I can’t work a full-time job since I have been in school for the past 7 years. I receive Medicare from the State of New York, but the process itself is very difficult and tedious.

We need a fully funded and free CUNY because all public universities should be truly public. The moment you put a price tag on a public service, it’s no longer for everyone. It’s now only for those who can afford it!

Also, the rising tuition should be alarming to students. In other countries, once the government tries to raise the price of tuition, students protest. Here we are simply not. If we don’t raise our voices against the status quo and stand for what we all deserve, it’ll get worse and worse!

Amanuel, City College of NY

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I’m double majoring in anthropology and Political Science. After graduating, I plan on getting a master’s in International Relations and hopefully working for a nonprofit organization.

I receive the Pell Grant, but it doesn’t cover my full tuition so I have to work and pay the rest out of pocket. I also pay for books, transportation, and food. Working while being a full-time student is stressful because it’s hard to balance school and work.

My biggest challenge as a CUNY student has been getting to class on time because living in New Jersey and commuting to New York is really hard. I would appreciate work-study and have made an appeal on my application but haven’t heard back.

I would appreciate a child care center on campus because I know a lot of students who have children and have nowhere to leave them while they’re in school.  

CUNY should be free and fully funded because a lot of students struggle financially, and education should be a right for everyone to access. It shouldn’t be limited by your financial situations. 

Masud Rana, City College of NY

I’m a senior and after college, I would like to pursue a master’s in International Relations. Currently, I’m getting my tuition paid in full which is something that I’m very grateful for because, if I didn’t receive aid, I wouldn’t be in school. I simply don’t have the financial capacity to pay for tuition. I’m not part of any opportunity programs, and I work to pay for textbooks, food, and transportation.

I would appreciate a child care center on campus because it would really help the students that work and have families to take care of while also attending school.

I think a fully funded CUNY is necessary because, like me, there are thousands of students that need help to complete their degrees, especially financially. A lot of students don’t have the means to pay for classes, and making college free would be really helpful to them.

My biggest challenge as a CUNY student has been balancing work, family, and school. I really would appreciate a fully funded CUNY for students like me and future generations!

Sadia Hogue, City College of NY

My tuition is covered by financial aid, and my parents help me pay for books, food, and transportation. I don’t currently have a job because it has been really difficult to find one that works with my schedule as a full-time student. My biggest challenge as a CUNY student is feeling left out and feeling like there isn’t really a space to feel welcome; as a freshman in a really big college, I was not provided with any real direction.

I would appreciate a child care center on campus because older students might have family on their own, and they might not be able to afford a babysitter or a nanny. Having to dedicate time to your studies becomes a challenge when you have to multi-task in order to take care of a child that needs attention 24/7 while maintaining good grades and working to provide for yourself and the child.

If I didn’t receive financial aid, I probably wouldn’t be in college because it would simply be too expensive for me. Years ago college was free, it’s not anymore, and I don’t understand why we should have to pay to get an education. I also think that at least general education classes should be free because they are only required for the college and don’t pertain to my major. I’m concerned about graduating on time because a lot of the advisors on campus aren’t helpful. Whenever I go to them, it seems like they don’t work with my schedule in helping me graduate on time.

CUNY should be made free for everyone because a lot of low-income students attend, and many might not be able to afford it. If having a degree helps someone get out of a bad financial situation, everyone should have that chance!

Alejandra, City College of NY

I’m a freshman at CCNY. I receive financial aid and pay for books, transportation, and food with my earning from work. I don’t receive work-study and am not part of any opportunity programs. If I didn’t receive any financial aid, I would probably have to take out loans and ask for my parents’ support, but that would be an additional burden on them since they have to have other financial responsibilities.

I would certainly appreciate a child care center on campus because a lot of CCNY students really need it. We need a fully funded CUNY because not all students have access to money. Many of them are struggling. I’m lucky to have parents that would support me if I couldn’t work, but many students don’t have that kind of support. Having to work full time at a job puts a lot of stress on a student and often interrupts their ability to study and maintain their grades. Being in school on its own is very stressful and adding a job to that becomes very draining and can lead to mental health issues.

My biggest challenge as a CUNY student is transportation because the only bus that I’m able to take to get to campus is not reliable, and it interferes with my attendance in class. 

Maliha Khan, City College of NY

I’m a junior majoring in international studies, and I’m minoring in English and Economics. After graduation, I would love to work with a nonprofit organization and hopefully one day I will be able to work with the UN!

I receive TAP and the Pell grant. I’m part of SEEK, which has helped me tremendously because they have provided me with a very helpful advisor, financial help, and an amazing environment for me to be in. I use the money that I get as a refund after my tuition to pay transportation, food, and books.

I’m currently looking for a part-time job and an internship with a nonprofit organization, but because of my busy schedule at school, it’s very difficult. I’ve also applied for federal work-study, but because financial aid covers my tuition, my application isn’t a priority.

I would appreciate a child care center on campus because I have many classmates that bring their children into the classes, and although they don’t often disrupt the class, they are a distraction to their moms because they have to pay attention to the children instead of paying attention to the class.

Time management has been my biggest challenge at a CUNY student.  I’m very concerned about graduating on time because I have changed majors. It has become very stressful because I am taking six classes next semester. If I didn’t receive financial aid, my parents would have to take out loans to help pay for tuition which would be really hard because I would have to work in order to support myself as well.

We need a fully funded CUNY because many plan on pursuing a master’s or a doctorate degree after college, and if students no longer had to worry about paying for their bachelor’s degree, they could save for furthering their educations. Also, it becomes very hard for a student to maintain a high GPA if they have to work to pay for their tuition, books, and food.

Seth Moer, City College of NY

I’m majoring in political science and minoring in journalism. I’m part of the 1% of students that receive the Excelsior scholarship, so I have to complete 30 credits per year, which makes college more stressful by increasing my workload. I also have to stay in New York four years after my graduation, so I plan to attend graduate school. I also am a recipient of the Pell Grant and the TAP award.

I work on the weekends and have to pay for food, transportation, and books myself because I don’t receive SNAP, and I am not part of any opportunity programs. If I didn’t receive any financial aid, I would probably be in debt. I think that CUNY should be fully funded to help to support the growing student body that overwhelms public colleges because most people find it nearly impossible to attend private colleges.

More aspects of CUNY, such as maintenance of the elevators of CCNY, should also be funded. I would also appreciate a child care center on campus to provide support for students that are also parents.

Janiris Rodriguez, SUNY Cortland

I’m a junior at SUNY Cortland studying Teaching English as a Second Language. After graduation, I plan on becoming a teacher.

I pay for school in a few ways. I’ve taken out student loans and received grants. I work to help cover the costs on top of that. I receive both TAP and the Pell Grant which is about $5,000 per year between the two. I also work at ASC (auxiliary services) about seven hours a week to help pay for food and gas so that I can go to my observations for my education class.

If I didn’t receive financial aid, I wouldn’t be in school because there is just no way I could afford it. We need a fully funded SUNY so that everyone can get an education no matter their financial situation. We all have a right to an education and a better future.