I am Maurysha Cuttino. I am a senior at Suny Cortland hoping to pursue my degree in Professional Writing. I am from Tully NY, and my Assembly Member is John Lemondes and my Senator is Rachel May. I chose a SUNY school for many reasons, mostly for cost and distance.
Though SUNY schools are cheaper they are still a lot of money and put people in a lot of debt. I am a future step-parent, and do help take care of my significant other’s kids. I am always worrying about money problems from school and other costs. I even ran into an issue this semester involving a single class and the possibility I may have to come out of pocket for it. I want to obtain my degree in hopes to develop a better career for myself as well as live my dream. I wish schools were free for those with less money or no family help. I know I could do so much better within classes and school without having to worry about if I’ll have enough money for coal, or if I need to miss a day of class to work an extra shift.
Because of costs and financial concerns, I never got the true college experience that most have in movies. I never got the sports or club experience due to the fact I had to make a living. I work full time overnights in addition to being a student. I think people don’t realize that there is a lot of money going into attending school, such as gas, rent and other priorities. Even food is expensive and when you spend all day on campus without a meal plan since you need to figure out how to eat and maintain your health. People need help and it would be nice to have more of that help.
I am a senior at Hunter College and a Psychology major. I am a mother of three going back to school now my children are grown up and would like to help young people since when I was young I didn’t have that support. I was at BMCC my first two years and I got my associate’s degree. It was really nice because I didn’t have to worry about the burden of paying for my tuition books and transportation since I had ASAP with an unlimited metrocard and I had an excellent adviser. Unfortunately when I transferred to Hunter I didn’t have the same experience with the advisement. They made me take a class that I already took in BMCC and I felt that the adviser didn’t take me seriously. I had to take that class online with 300 other students and I didn’t learn anything since the professor couldn’t take the time to explain. I think one of the changes that CUNY could benefit from is extending ASAP since it is a great program to hire more advisers that care about students instead of making it more difficult. Fixing the heating system since sometimes the professor had to let us leave because it was too hot and there wasn’t anybody to put the heating down. I think going to university shouldn’t be a struggle and administration should help us to navigate the system.
I began at the Borough of Manhattan Community College in the early 2000s, and applied for FAFSA and Pell. Unfortunately at the time, I did not know what career path I wanted to choose and advisement was not really very helpful with mapping a future goal. It took me almost four years to complete my Associates Degree in Liberal Arts. Unknown to me at the time, the Pell grant offers “no more than 12 terms or the equivalent.” After graduating from BMCC, I began my first legal job at a personal injuries firm. I took a very long time before attending college again, but when I finally did I applied to City Tech with the intention to learn more about the field I was working in. I have been at City Tech since spring 2021 and was recently informed that I am no longer eligible for any Federal financial aid due to my maximum limit being reached. This semester alone has been especially hard due to my brother’s sudden passing and the expenses tied to it, along with being a single mom to a 13 year old boy and having a full time job to pay for living expenses. Paying tuition seems like an unreasonable situation for me. As a current student on the Dean’s List with only one more semester before graduation, it’s disappointing to know that I may not be able to “afford” to finish my degree.
I am a stay at home mother. I just had a baby girl a year and a half ago and have another child on the way. I decided to come to BMCC to study Business Management so that I can have a qualification when I decide to go back into the world of work. I aspire to transfer to a four-year college to study business management, hopefully Zicklin School of Business because I want to open my own business someday.
I don’t qualify for any of financial aid because my household income is considered to be above the threshold. So everything I need for school comes out of my pocket. Because I did just have a baby and another one on the way, school is expensive for me. I have to buy textbooks and make sure that I’m in class for the minimum required time. One textbook can come to about $180 and the transport money does add up.
My strategy to mitigate costs is to take only one or two
classes per semester. This unfortunately will delay my graduation which is not
ideal but I have no choice at the moment.