Posts Tagged ‘TAP’

Andy Huang, Hunter College

I am a senior studying chemistry at Hunter College. I chose to attend a CUNY because it was much more affordable than a SUNY or private college. I live with my parents as dorming would be too expensive. I am lucky to receive the Pell Grant and TAP, both of which help cover my tuition fees. I also receive a scholarship per semester that helps fund my transportation, school materials, and food. While I rely on financial aid, I have come close to losing it during several semesters. This semester specifically, I was stressed about financial aid because I lost TAP. I couldn’t receive it because I was not taking enough eligible credits (the classes I needed to take were locked to the spring semester). I hope to see TAP’s eligibility expand in the future so that it accepts all the classes that students take. Attending college and getting a degree should not be blocked by tuition fees. Students need to be able to focus more on studying instead of stressing about working part-time/full-time to attend their classes.

Damien Andrade, Borough of Manhattan Community College

I am in my third year at BMCC. I am graduating this semester and I am transferring to Brooklyn College to pursue a BA in Political Science. As of right now, I have financial aid to pay for the costs of college. I was nervous about this semester because I am a part time student and I didn’t know how I would pay for college without TAP. When TAP eligibility was expanded to part time students it really helped me. When I transfer to Brooklyn College, I will have to pay more for the cost of school because my financial aid won’t cover it all. I am currently working and when I transfer I will be a full time student and I am expecting a heavier workload. I will have to balance being a full time student while working 30 hours a week. Even now, as a part time student I feel like I have to pick between focusing on work to pay my expenses and focusing on school. If we had a New Deal 4 CUNY, I would be able to use the money that I am making at work for actual living expenses, not college. I wouldn’t have to work as many hours and I could focus on school. It is especially difficult now with inflation and the pandemic, because students are struggling with food, rent and education. This plays into mental health and stress. There are not many resources on campus to help with students’ mental health. My current advisors and counselors seem like they have too many students to care about me when I am in a meeting with them. 

Justin Lorenzo, Purchase College

I’m a junior and intern for NYPIRG at SUNY Purchase College. I am a communications major and Economics minor. When I graduate I hope to pursue the sports advertising business. What inspired me to choose my major and minor was my love for baseball and wanting to work for a professional Sports team in the future. I currently use loans to pay for College. I’ve used TAP twice and have had a positive experience with it. I have 4 siblings and I am currently the 3rd one who has attended college. As of financial aid, it does cover me fully with loans. I usually work full time in the summer to catch up with the loans. I’m not worried about paying my loans, Just worried about what career I will have.

Maya Ranot, Purchase College

I am currently a Junior at Purchase College. I am a communications major with a minor in Psychology. I decided to major in communications because Purchase is a Performing Arts college so there wasn’t much for me, especially not much that I was interested in here. 

I personally don’t pay for college, Foster Youth pays for my education and I am grateful for that. TAP is very helpful, however I feel like they can help out students more. My older brother was the first one in my family to go to college, however he didn’t get the chance to finish because he had to help pay bills. I will be graduating with my Bachelors in 2024. I luckily haven’t had any big challenges with paying for college because of Foster Youth. The financial aid awards I’ve gotten pays my tuition and food but not my daily living and other expenses such as money for textbooks. Textbooks are very expensive and sometimes I can’t afford them. Some professors also aren’t understanding of that and it can be frustrating. I live on campus however since I graduated high school in 2020, and that was the peak of COVID therefore we were the first ones affected by COVID first hand. I came to live on campus the second semester of my Sophomore year, like others in my class of 2024. I used to work Freshmen and sophomore year to cover expenses because I was living at home however once I got to campus I stopped to focus on school more and make it my priority. The only issues I’ve run into while registering for classes is not having many options and therefore having to settle for certain courses.

I personally feel like we need more of a variety because I’m not an art student here at SUNY Purchase College and this is a performing arts school. Advising for classes and navigating my way through college has been easy because I’m an EOP student therefore I get a-lot of help from my counselor every semester. I am very thankful for that and I have come to realize that students don’t have the support system in college and they all deserve to have that. College is not easy, especially when you have no support system.

Sharon Huang, Queens College

I’m a junior who majors in Psychology and intends to pursue a career as a therapist. These goals are motivated by my personality traits as an individual and my intent for others to feel heard. I afford my tuition through Federal Pell Grants and New York State Tuition Assistance Program. I am satisfied with the financial aid process and so is my family considering I’m a first generation college student. Difficulties I find within the financial aid system is the substantial pressure to maintain my grades in order to not have my awarded aid decreased. I live off-campus with my family and haven’t run into any issues with professors of class accessibility as yet. I am granted reasonable advice from my advisors and guidance throughout my process. The physical upkeep of my campus is well-preferred over virtual classes which bore me to sleep at times.

Brenda Ojeda, Queens College

I am a freshman who majors in Political Science. I hope to learn more about my community and help future generations with the knowledge I acquire. I hope to attend graduate school in order to become a lawyer. I have always admired lawyers. This interest was sparked through the attendance of environmental rallies and engagement in my AP Government courses. I am able to pay my tuition through Federal Pell Grants. However, Federal Aid doesn’t cover all of my tuition expenses so I receive financial assistance through my father. Concerning the Federal Pell Grant process, it is not declared how much aid a student may initially receive. Therefore, the school selection process is deemed a bit challenging in terms of out-of-pocket pay expectancy. Aside from Federal Pell, I recommend that New York State Tuition Assistance Program aides in clarifying the application process so students could complete the application process more efficiently. I’m a first-generation college student, in result I experience the pressure to do well throughout my academic career. I live off-campus, so at times it can be confusing to virtually navigate my tuition and billing information through CUNY. I find the physical upkeep of the campus to be up to part and accessibility to classes/advisement to be convenient. However, I have received professors that experience confusion due to having to hold various amounts of classes during a semester because they are under-paid and need to teach so many classes to provide for themselves.

Anthony Williams, Hunter College

I am a graduate student at Hunter College majoring in Computer Science. During my undergraduate and masters, I received no assistance paying for tuition. This is extremely difficult when taking summer classes where 2 courses alone can cost up to $3000. I have not taken out any loans yet as I work and my parents pay out of pocket but I might have to for the remaining of my masters. Increased CUNY funding and more financial support for graduate students would help alleviate the financial burden I am facing.

Matthew Aherns, NYC College of Technology

I am a Sophomore at NYC College of Technology majoring in Computer Information Systems (Bachelor program). I hope to get a job as a programmer. I decided to pursue this field because when I was 10 years old, I stumbled upon the coding in a game where I messed around with different values and saw how the game reacted and changed. I have been running into issues with my financial aid. My TAP award does not cover my full tuition and if I don’t pay by a certain date, I get a hold put on my account which holds me back from registering for classes. The TAP verification process takes too long, at two to three weeks. Finding academic advisement to decide which classes to take has also been a struggle as it has been very complex and not easy to navigate. In addition, I don’t really spend much time on campus because some of the rooms don’t have working heat.

Paul Molina, Hunter College

I am a senior at Hunter College. I pay for school through financial aid but sometimes it does not cover my full expenses. To help cover them, I work a part-time job. I do not receive TAP but I wish the amount of paperwork for TAP was not so stressful. It takes a long time to complete the form and the requirements to quality are very narrow. My biggest challenges in college have been waiting for the elevators and trying to schedule appointments with my advisors. The elevators take an extremely long time to come and when they do come, they are typically crowded. In addition to this stress, navigating the world of advisors was also challenging. To get in touch with advisors, it takes about 3 weeks. By increasing CUNY funding, we would be able to hire more advisors who can respond quicker.

janata Harrison, Hunter College

I am a Sophomore at Hunter College. I am a political science major and I hope to become a lawyer when I graduate. I was inspired to pursue this major when I met a lawyer during career day in middle school who had studied the same thing. She seemed very educated and passionate and I knew I wanted to follow in the same footsteps. I have received TAP and I think the recent improvements were very helpful. Part time TAP now receives more funding and students can feel less pressure when making decisions on whether to go to school or to go college. Thankfully, I have not had any big challenges paying for colleges. Upon finding out there was a portion of my tuition that was not covered this semester, I promptly filled some forms with the VA and their military assisted programs to cover the balance. Between the military program, TAP, Pell and Excelsior all of my tuition and other expenses have been covered thankfully and I have not had to take out loans. The only issues I have faced with finding professors is with certain prerequisites only being offered in the fall. This was a little confusing because then I had to plan in advance of what classes I think I could take each semester to graduate on time. 

My experience, especially as a freshman, was not great. I was told a lot of false information about having to take the classes chosen for you when you first enter and about not being able to drop them. I had an advisor who did not really assist me but instead told me to use DegreeWorks. I emailed her with questions and till this day never received a response. Now that I am a sophomore, I think I am more accustomed to the system and therefore need less advising. DegreeWorks and I are now best friends and when I have any large questions, I can ask a professor in the department I am wondering about. Professors and general advisors have been more helpful than the advisor I was assigned.