Throughout my college career, I have received financial assistance through the Pell grant and the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). The assistance was a huge help for me because without it, I would not have been able to go to college. My father is the only person who works full time in my family. He barely makes enough money to pay for all the expenses of providing for a five-member family. I attended college full time while working part time to help take some of the burden off his shoulder, and at the same time pay for my own expenses such as books, metrocards, and food. However, work would sometimes get in the way of my studies. There were many times when I had to choose between studying for an important exam and going to work because I needed the money. While the assistance of Pell grant and TAP has been extremely helpful, I still struggle financially.
I realized, although too late, that there were other programs offered in college to help students with their everyday expenses; programs like ASAP and SEEK. I wasn’t informed about these programs in high school or in my first semester of college. When I learned about them and went to the financial aid office in my second semester of college, I was told it was too late for me to be eligible for the programs. If I had the assistance that educational opportunity programs provide, I could focus more on my studies and less on working to pay for expenses. This would have made a huge difference in my academic life.