I am a Public Relations major and Journalism minor. I intend to graduate in December 2019. After college, I plan on attaining a stable job where I will pursue marketing and get a place of my own. However, I am not ruling out graduate school. I pay for school through financial aid as well as the two loans I took out. I feel blessed to be a part of the EOP program, where I have had an advisor and group of students in similar positions for the last four years helping me navigate the SUNY system. I receive TAP, FASFA, and work study – I work at the student union front desk. I pay for textbooks through financial aid and receive a refund check of $150 per semester. In the case of that not being enough to afford all textbooks, I will turn to scanning or finding the electronic version. Help also comes from Alumni donations to EOP that are applied toward paying for books. I live on campus and have a meal plan that is paid for within financial aid. I do not make use of the child care center located on campus, as I do not have any children. However, I still find the center to be beneficial because some of my professors bring their children there so they can teach for the day, which in turn allows me to receive an education. If I did not receive financial aid, I would still find a way to attend college, whether that be working as many shifts as possible, applying for scholarships, and loans. It is important for me to receive at least a bachelor’s degree because of the difference it makes having one vs. not having one in the real world.
My family and I are immigrants. I am fortunate that I am able to attend college and receive a degree, and I am one of the first in my family to achieve this. My brothers did not go to college and had to work straight out of high school to help out my family financially. It’s tough because most businesses are expanding their credential requirements, most requiring a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. How can we work toward achieving what is required of us if it is not made available? If there was an easier process for more accessible and affordable public higher education, more students would be able to navigate the system and build their own empire rather than working just to keep up with the restricting system.