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Posts Tagged ‘Pell Grant’

Maliha Khan, City College of NY

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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

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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

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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.

Daniel Reischer, SUNY Cortland

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I’m currently a sophomore at SUNY Cortland majoring in Political Science. At this point, my plan is to attend graduate school after graduation.

As far as paying for school, I rely on taking out loans, using the financial aid I receive, and having my parents pay some tuition out-of-pocket. I receive both TAP and the Pell Grant, which allow me to pay for school each semester. I don’t work, so I need financial aid to pay my tuition and to pay for textbooks.

If I didn’t receive financial aid, in all likelihood, I would not be able to attend college. So many people struggle to pay for college, which is a large part of why SUNY needs to be fully funded. If SUNY was better funded, those who can’t afford college would be able to go, and middle-class families that have more than one child would have the ability to send all of their children to school.

The biggest challenge that I have faced as a SUNY student is dealing with the stress of not knowing how my parents will pay for my sister to go to college in two years and worrying about paying off my student debt.

Mary Faduski, SUNY Cortland

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I’m a senior at SUNY Cortland majoring in Sociology with a minor in Anthropology. Once I graduate, I plan on getting a job working at a children’s home in case management.

I pay for school with private loans. Because my parents don’t qualify, I don’t receive TAP or the Pell Grant. I have no option but to take out loans. I have to work back home and on the weekends when I’m at school to help pay for college and other expenses that I have.

When it comes to textbooks, my parents help pay for them, but I pay out of pocket for groceries because I don’t have a meal plan. I decided to take out another loan so that I could afford a meal plan, but that hasn’t gone through yet.

Since my dad makes too much, I don’t qualify for financial aid, but my parents still can’t afford to send me to school so my only option was to take out multiple loans and have my dad co-sign them. My parents have already put my two siblings through school, and we all have had to take out loans because it’s just not possible for my parents to pay for us all to go.

My biggest concern is that when I leave school I won’t get a job that will allow me to pay off my loans, which I have to start making payments on six months after graduating. If SUNY was fully funded, I wouldn’t have to worry about paying all these loans back, and it would also open doors for those who can’t afford to attend school.

Michaila Larsen, SUNY Cortland

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I am a senior at SUNY Cortland studying Sociology with a concentration in Criminology. My plan after graduation is to go into social work, and I’m currently looking at a possible job in Maine that doesn’t require a master’s degree. I can’t afford graduate school, and my loans are already collecting interest so I have no option but to only look at jobs that don’t require another degree.

I currently pay for school with subsidized and Stafford loans and a small amount of financial aid. I don’t receive TAP, and I only receive a small amount of aid from the Pell Grant. In order to pay for school, I have to work. I work at the child care center at the YWCA before and after school.

I sometimes use the money I make from my job to pay for textbooks, and my parents help out when they can, but oftentimes if I can’t afford a textbook, I just don’t get it. I have had textbooks that cost more than $100, and I just can’t afford that. I have no option except to not buy the book.

I don’t have a meal plan, so I pay for groceries out of pocket, and sometimes my parents help pay for food. If I didn’t receive financial aid, going to school wouldn’t be an option for me, or I would have no choice but to co-sign another loan.

A fully funded SUNY system would allow those students who can’t afford school to have the ability to attend, and it would help current students stay in school without fear of paying loans back. Some students have no choice but to leave college because, financially, they just can’t do it. How can anyone start a life after graduating when they’re so deep in debt?

Not only is paying for school a challenge I face, but paying for parking is another financial obligation that I have. I would say that I have paid close to $300 in parking tickets since I have been here, and the cost of a parking pass is huge.

The biggest challenge that I’ve faced as a SUNY student is having my classes blocked when I can’t pay my bill. I wasn’t able to register for classes that I needed because I couldn’t make my payment. This could prevent students from graduating on time because certain classes are only offered at specific times, and if students can’t make their payments then they won’t be able to register when the class is offered. This forces students to pay more and stay for another semester.

Courtney Hines, SUNY Cortland

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I’m a senior at SUNY Cortland majoring in philosophy. After I graduate, I plan on working for a nonprofit organization. I pay for school with both financial aid and loans.

I receive TAP and the Pell Grant, and I also have a part-time job during the semester.

When it comes to textbooks, I usually don’t buy them because I can’t afford them. I try to find an online PDF version of the textbook, but if I can’t find that, then I have no option but to not have the book for class. For food, my financial aid covers the cost. I use it to buy groceries.

I depend on my financial aid, and this year I didn’t receive as much as previous semesters. My financial aid went from $4,000 to $400 because my sister moved out so my parents were expected to have that extra money to pay for my tuition. My mom had no choice but to take out a loan to help cover the costs of school.

We need a fully funded SUNY system so that all students have the opportunity to attend college, and they won’t be worried about paying for it. My biggest challenge as a SUNY student has been paying for school and worrying about how my parents are going to help me pay for it. A student’s main focus should not be paying for school; they should be focused on pursuing their education.

Hannah Falk, SUNY Cortland

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I’m currently a senior studying international studies and political science at SUNY Cortland. After graduation, I plan to work abroad, specifically in the Australian government.

In order to pay for school, I use financial aid as well as out of pocket payments. I receive both TAP and the Pell Grant to help cover the costs of school, but I also work part-time on campus for 20 hours a week on top of taking 19 credits. I use the money I make working to help pay for groceries, but I also use the student food cupboard on campus.

I pay for textbooks out of pocket with money from working. They’re expensive every semester, and I’m concerned that I won’t graduate on time and will have to pay for even more books all over again. There are classes that I’m required to take that are only offered at specific times, and I still haven’t been able to take them.

College should be accessible to everyone, and by making SUNY fully funded, it will be. Not everyone has the opportunity to attend college and financial aid doesn’t always cover everything, so students are left responsible to pay for the remaining costs. As students, our concern shouldn’t be having enough to eat. We should be focused on our education.

The biggest challenge that I’ve faced as a SUNY student is trying to afford both housing and food. My financial aid doesn’t cover housing because it is all spent on paying for my tuition, so I have to find ways to pay for it myself.

Wasan Bahr, SUNY Cortland

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I’m a senior at SUNY Cortland studying Teaching English as a Second Language. After graduation, I plan on getting a teaching job and to begin working towards paying off my extensive student debt.

I pay for school in a few ways. I take out student loans and work a few part-time jobs, such as driving for Uber, cleaning houses, and interpreting for various places in the Syracuse area. As for TAP, I’m not eligible because I was working full-time, and I made too much money two years ago to qualify. I only receive about $200 from the Pell Grant, and I work as much as possible so that I am able to pay for college. As for textbooks, I use financial aid to pay for them. I don’t receive SNAP, so my husband and I pay out of pocket for groceries.

If I didn’t receive financial aid, I would not be able to go to school because it is so expensive. I have had no choice but to take out student loans, so I’m hoping to get a job after graduation that will help to pay off my student loans. I have no worries about graduating on time, but I am a non-traditional student.

SUNY should be fully funded and affordable so that students have the ability to attend college and ultimately have more opportunities and a better quality of life where they’re not forced to work low-paying jobs. 

Andi Bruce, SUNY Cortland

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I’m a freshman at SUNY Cortland studying English and philosophy with minors in women, gender, and sexuality studies, and in economics. At this point, I don’t have a definite plan for after graduation.

I pay for school with scholarships, financial aid, and loans. I receive TAP and the Pell Grant, and I also work through the work-study program as a part of my financial aid. I use my aid to pay for some of my tuition and textbooks, and I have a meal plan. Like many other students, if I didn’t receive financial aid I would not be able to attend college.

My biggest challenge as a student has been thinking about the future. The Excelsior scholarship was not clear about how they deduct Pell and TAP grants, so my parents had to take out an extra loan right before the tuition bill was due so I could afford to go here. I’m going to have all this debt to pay off when I leave college, and that’s stressful to think about.

We need fully funded colleges because in this economy you can’t rise up without a college education, and preventing someone from receiving such an education is depriving them of equal opportunity and a chance at the life they want and deserve. I think college should be free for everyone, everywhere. Education should be a right, not a privilege.